Former Pakistan ace spinner Saqlain Mushtaq thinks Ravichandran Ashwin should not be excluded from India’s limited-overs format, saying that a successful Test bowler is capable to succeed in the shorter format as well. “He knows how to get batsman out in the five-day game, which is much tougher than limited overs cricket. Anyone can do the containment job but someone who knows how take wickets can contain also. He knows both. How can you keep him out? You have to back your best players.” Saqlain said Ashwin has taken 150 wickets in 111 One Day Internationals with the economy of 4.91 only.
Similarly, in 46 T20 international matches Ashwin has amassed 52 wickets, which includes his 2 four-wicket hauls. Ashwin has been excluded from the shorter formats of the game since July 2017. His teammate Bumrah feels Harbhajan Singh was a better spinner than Ashwin. Speaking to Yuvraj Singh on a social media live, Bumrah said ““I have been playing with Ashwin. But, I have watched Harbhajan since childhood and also played with him. So, I will pick him”. Ashwin, spoke up about the need of improvement when it comes to the preforming in abroad countries.
“There are opportunities that I have missed. I have been anyway very critical of myself and I feel even I have been very harsh on myself in those conditions seeing what people are talking. We don’t know when we will get back to cricket and when we will travel abroad but I feel my best days are still lying ahead,” he said Although, Saqlain believes that Ashwin can perform better in shorter formats as well, but the stats still show that Ashwin has an upper hand in Test cricket. The 33 year old off spinner has played 71 Test matches and has scalped 365 wickets with 27 five-wicket hauls.