Sunil Gavaskar emphasizes Ashwin's invaluable experience and astuteness as a pivotal element for World Cup 2023.


Sunil Gavaskar emphasizes Ashwin’s invaluable experience and astuteness as a pivotal element for World Cup 2023.

Former Indian captain and cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar anticipates Ravichandran Ashwin’s impact in the middle overs of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. The tournament commences with a highly anticipated rematch of the 2019 final between England and New Zealand on October 5 in Ahmedabad. Team India’s first match is scheduled against Australia in Chennai on October 8.

Ashwin, who had been absent from the ODI format due to a quadriceps injury to Axar Patel, made a strong comeback during the recent Australia series, claiming four wickets in the initial two games and contributing to a 2-0 lead. With Axar’s unavailability for the World Cup, Ashwin was included in the 15-player squad for the marquee event.

In an interview with Star Sports, Gavaskar emphasized Ashwin’s significance in the middle overs, particularly on batting-friendly pitches. He noted, “It is the middle overs which is…we saw what a good pitch this was so players can play through the line when the ball is not deviating or turning or bouncing. And this is where Ashwin, with his experience and canniness, will play a key role.

While Gavaskar wasn’t certain about Ashwin’s inclusion in the playing XI for crucial matches, he believed that the veteran off-spinner could be a valuable partnership breaker. He remarked, “I’m not sure if they will play him in the XI for the big matches, but he is the kind of bowler who can actually get you wickets in the middle overs, preventing partnerships from developing and ultimately limiting the opposition to a low total.

Team India’s preparations include a warm-up match against defending champions England in Guwahati on Saturday, September 30, followed by a clash with the Netherlands in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, October 3.

Additionally, Gavaskar expressed surprise at Jasprit Bumrah’s expensive performance in the third ODI against Australia in Rajkot, where he conceded 51 runs in his initial five overs but recovered to finish with figures of 3/81 in ten overs. Despite this, Gavaskar praised all three Indian pacers with the new ball and remained confident that Bumrah would not repeat such mistakes, given his experience.

Bumrah recently returned to international cricket after a year-long injury layoff during the T20I series against Ireland and was named Player of the Series. With an impressive ODI record of 129 wickets in 78 games, an average of 24.31, and an economy rate of under 4.70 runs per over, Bumrah remains a pivotal asset for Team India in the World Cup.


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