At the moment, it seems Ravichandran Ashwin can do no wrong. The right-arm off-spinner was in tremendous form with the ball in Australia, where he was the spinner with most wickets in the series. Ashwin picked 12 wickets in 3 games at an average of 28.83, and he also displayed his skills with the bat in Sydney, where he saved the game for India.
Ashwin’s form with both the bat and the ball continued in the England series, as he picked his 29th fifer in the 2nd Test, and then followed it up with his 5th Test hundred and became match winner. But despite all his plaudits in the longest format in recent days, Ashwin was not included in the T20I squad for India against England.
Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected chat show, former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir said that it is unfortunate that the India off-spinner is not a part of white-ball scheme of things. “Someone who is coming close to taking 400 wickets and the same time getting five Test hundreds and still not being part of the white-ball scheme of things is very unfortunate. He is just a class act,” Gambhir said. Ashwin played last of his ODI and T20I match in a series against West Indies in 2017 after which the team management decided to go with leg spinners in shorter format and he was dropped from the team.
Ravi Ashwin – Greatest match-winner for India after Anil Kumble
“There was so much talk about wicket and stuff, so many people talked that this is unplayable and stuff. He has shown it that he can do it with the ball and he can do it with the bat as well. He always had the talent, you can’t have 5 Test hundred if you don’t have talent and what better to get it at a place where you have actually grown up, You have always dreamt of getting runs and especially Test hundred on your home ground and on a wicket like this, you have already taken a five-for, then you go and get a hundred which no other batter has got in this innings, what a feeling, what a Test match,” Gambhir told on Star Sports.
“He always goes under the radar a little bit, because there are players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah. What he has done in Test cricket for India is unbelievable, I don’t see many players who have got five Test hundreds and are close to getting 400 Test wickets. Anil Kumble scored 1 Test hundred and took 600 wickets, he was probably the greatest match-winner India ever had and after him if I see the greatest match-winner India ever have had, it’s Ravichandran Ashwin,” he added.
Ashwin has now become the only second player after Ian Botham to achieve the double of a hundred and five wickets in the same match on more than two occasions.