Former Indian Head coach Ravi Shastri has finally reacted to Indian spinner R Ashwin’s recent comments where he mentioned that he felt “crushed after Shastri picked Kuldeep Yadav as India’s number one overseas spinner in 2019.
Kuldeep had taken a five-wicket haul in Sydney in the 2018-19 tour which was also his first test match in Australia. Ashwin said he was genuinely happy for Kuldeep as he knew how difficult it is to take five wickets as a spinner in Australia. “I hold Ravi Bhai in high esteem. We all do. And I understand we all can say things and then retract them. At that moment, though, I felt crushed. Absolutely crushed,” Ashwin told ESPNCricinfo.
My job is to state facts without agenda: Ravi Shastri
Responding to R Ashwin, Shastri said that his job is to “state facts without agenda” and not butter anyone. He also stated that he is “glad” he made the statement if that made Ashwin go about his job in a better way.
“Ashwin did not play the Test in Sydney and Kuldeep played and took fifer and bowled brilliantly. It was only fair I give that young kid who was probably playing his first or second Test match overseas and he bowled magnificently in that Test match. He bowled as well as any spinner has bowled in that Test match.”
“So, I said the way he has bowled here is every chance he could be India’s number one bowler overseas. Now, if that hurts some other player, I would say good. I am glad I made that statement and Ashwin made this statement. Because if it hurt him and he was upset, I’m glad the way he went about his job,” Shastri said.
The way he was bowling in 2019 and 2021 was chalk and cheese: Ravi Shastri on R Ashwin’s performance in Australia
Shastri said he was “very happy” that his comments made the experienced spinner do something different as the way he was bowling in 2018-19 in Australia and the way he bowled in the last tour in 2020-21 was like “chalk and cheese”.
R Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers in the recent Border Gavaskar Trophy. He also outbowled Nathan Lyon, who is considered a GOAT in Australia. Ashwin also foxed Steve Smith on three occasions.
“I’m the kind of coach who will want a player to go inside and say that ‘I am going to show this coach’. You know, I’m going to teach him a lesson and show him what I’m all about. So, if it upset him, I’m very happy. It made him do something very different which he did.
The way he was bowling in 2019 and bowled in 2021 in Australia was chalk and cheese. I would go for the cheese any day,” Shastri said.
• Ravi Shastri is glad that his comments hurt Ashwin as he was forced to do something different.
• Shastri feels Ashwin’s performance in 2019 and 2021 were like chalk and cheese.