Since the Champions Trophy final in 2017, Ashwin has appeared in only two ODI matches, in 2022, during the tour of South Africa
Ravichandran Ashwin has suddenly found himself in the discussion for the ODI World Cup and the Asia Cup in the midst of a right-arm finger-spinning option in the Indian ODI set-up after a former chief selector of the BCCI raised a hard-hitting query. But Ashwin was never in the scheme of things. He indeed did make a dramatic return to the white-ball side for the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cup for the same reason, despite not playing the format since 2016. While the gap has been almost similar in ODIs as well, Ashwin, ahead of India’s selection meeting for Asia Cup and World Cup, broke his silence in the absence from the scheme of things.
Earlier this week, former BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad made an out-of-the-blue pick for India’s spin option for Asia Cup during a discussion on Star Sports. Making a surprise selection in Ashwin, Prasad explained that with the World Cup happening in Asian conditions and most teams having left-handed batting options, Ashwin could have proven to be a “handy” option for India.
“I still fancy Ravichandran Ashwin. You are playing in Asian conditions, and I think he is one guy who might be very handy with so many left-handers in the oppositions right now. Australia are filled with left-handers, we have seen that. Ashwin will definitely be useful because he is also in the best state of mind also. He can be handy, especially when you are playing in Sri Lanka and India,” Prasad said.
But since the Champions Trophy final in 2017, Ashwin has appeared in only two ODI matches, in 2022, during the tour of South Africa. And while the move saw many believing that he might be in the scheme of things for the World Cup, he was never picked again in any of the five ODI series India played since the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Speaking to Times of India on his absence from the ODI set-up, Ashwin showed no signs of regret over matters not in his control.
“I don’t think like that, because the selection of the team is not my job. I had decided long back that I would not think about stuff that is not in my hand. I am honestly in a very good space in terms of life and my cricket and I try to keep negativity away from my thought process,” he said.
The legendary off-spinner then backed the Indian team to lift their third World Cup title even though he is most certainly to be snubbed from the team despite being part of discussion.
“I live for the day and I have no unfinished business. But it’s true that I would love to see India winning the World Cup again, even if I am not playing,” he said.