‘India called Ashwin first for Asia Cup final…’: Karthik makes big revelation – Hindustan Times

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Team India’s star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made a comeback to the ODI side after almost 20 months for the bilateral series against Australia, that serves as a dress rehearsal for the side’s opening game in the World Cup next month. The series against Australia will be India’s final bit of action before the focus moves to the marquee global tournament, and in this regard, Ashwin’s return remains significant as the deadline for final squad confirmation nears (September 27).
Ashwin was picked in the squad after all-rounder Axar Patel facd an injury during the Asia Cup Super 4 match against Bangladesh earlier this month. India, then, had decided to bring Washington Sundar for the final and even picked him in the XI; Sundar continued to remain a part of the squad for the series against Australia but Ashwin was picked ahead of the youngster for the first ODI in Mohali.
And Team India’s star wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has finally revealed why Ashwin was seemingly the first choice for the team management in the ODI series. Karthik stated that Team India had approached Ashwin before Sundar for the Asia Cup final as well, but the veteran spinner refused to fly to Sri Lanka as he wasn’t “match ready.”
“With a little inside information I know, I’ll end up defending Rohit, Ajit, and Rahul Dravid here. They actually called up R Ashwin first at the Asia Cup final. They had a conversation and Ashwin felt he wasn’t match ready yet. So, he said it’s better if I don’t come to this game, because Washington was playing. He was playing in local tournaments in Chennai and he was in NCA. So, they sent Sundar for that one game,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.
“Then, Ashwin played a couple of local club matches, and then, they picked him. That was the whole conversation. Their first choice at that point as well was Ashwin. I understand Washington could’ve been misled a bit, but they choose Ashwin first.”
Earlier on Friday, the BCCI posted a video interview of the off-spinner where he revealed he was kept in loop by the board ever since the Test series against West Indies in August. Ashwin had flown back home after the two Tests as a majority of the side stayed in the Caribbean for three ODIs and five T20Is.
“I came back from the West Indies, took a break, played in a few club games. The team management kept me in the loop, whenever they said there could be chance. Stay ready, just in case. I was touching base with my fitness, started bowling a few sessions,” Ashwin said.
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