New Zealand v India, 4th ODI, Hamilton

Ashwin in 'best frame of mind' despite wickets dearth

Abhishek Purohit in Hamilton

January 27, 2014

Comments: 88 | Text size: A | A
'Tie could be the turnaround for us' - Ashwin

When he bowled Corey Anderson in Auckland, it was the first wicket R Ashwin had taken for close to 80 overs. The previous one had come seven weeks earlier, on December 8, when he dismissed Quinton de Kock in the second ODI against South Africa in Durban. Thereafter, he had gone wicketless in the Centurion ODI, the Johannesburg Test and in Napier and Hamilton on the current tour of New Zealand.

It was not as if he was being taken apart each time he went without a wicket, but such a run can easily play on your mind. But Ashwin said he was in the "best frame of mind" and was not thinking too much about the lack of wickets. He had been dropped in favour of Ravindra Jadeja for the Durban Test after his failure to break through in Johannesburg, and said he had learned a lot from that tour.

"Honestly I was not reading or looking into anything," Ashwin said. "This is probably the best frame of mind I have been in. I have locked away a few things. I had a tour of South Africa which was quite a learning curve for me. I have decided if I am giving my best that is all I can do. I cannot go back reading articles and what people are saying about me. It does not make sense. I just locked myself out. I spoke to Dhoni about a couple of things, to the coach, had chats with a few people I trust. I thought things were going alright. It can happen, you cannot keep taking wickets or making runs all the time. The frame of mind I was in helped me perform the way I did."

Ashwin said he was feeling satisfied with the way he was bowling and had worked out how he had to go about the job away from home. "I have sorted out what length and what kind of bowling needs to be done. There are certain ways you need to construct a spell abroad. I have learnt that and put that into practice."

R Ashwin reacts to M Vijay dropping a catch off his bowling, India v West Indies, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 1st day, November 14, 2013
R Ashwin: "I had a tour of South Africa which was quite a learning curve for me" © BCCI

The new fielding restrictions have made it harder for bowlers in general. With lesser help available for spinners in overseas conditions, Ashwin said it had become difficult to look for wickets even if the batsmen were playing their shots and taking risks. "That particular thing falls out of the window with the current scenario. If there is spin and you are playing with the conditions helping you, then of course there is an opportunity to look to get a wicket but if it is stacked against you then you are fighting against something which is like a wall. You cannot box against a wall. You cannot fight against the conditions and go head on and take it on.

"You definitely tend to be targeted as a spinner away from home. With the five-fielder [within the circle] rule you can only look to give a single. You cannot err on lengths. The batsman knows if you have your sweeper up you are not going to err on the shorter side so you are giving away some cues to the batsman in terms of what field you are setting, and you cannot be foolish enough to try and fool the batsman. They are going to look for boundaries. You have to be really smart and try and make sure you do what the team requires. It is easy to say wickets are not coming so I will look for wickets, but you end up giving 20-30 runs extra and you have to get it back at the end of the day."

Before the Auckland game, Dhoni had said one also had to look at what stage of the innings India were making Ashwin bowl. "I am using him in the Powerplay, in the slog after the 40th over also. You have to see all these things," Dhoni said. "If you keep saying he is not getting wickets, then that will put pressure on him and in turn what may happen is he will be bowling the 42nd or 43rd over and look for a wicket and it may add another 6-10 runs. I am quite happy with how he has been bowling. If I try to use him upfront, he will be slightly less expensive. As of now both spinners are doing their job quite well. Looking at the conditions, I am practically judging them."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 8:13 GMT)

I don't know why there is change made on the top order when the series is almost lost. There was no need to change the top order. It was good to drop Raina today. But he should have been dropped long back. In my opinion he shouldn't have been picked for the tour. When you have picked someone like Stuart, use him properly. Just giving him 1 over and stopping him was not a good captaincy. I am sure he will never get chance again to play for India just because of 1 expensive over he bowled in his entire international cricketing career. Sad. But this is how our selection process works

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 6:37 GMT)

Ashwin is a very confident and brilliant cricketer. We all could feel this when we heard him addressing the parents of a group of young players of an academy in Chennai, much before he became an Indian player. He is a path breaker and hence finds new paths, has been finding new ways like carrom ball, leg spin, ..etc. He is a good leader and has been among winning lot of trophies. He ll start getting wkts soon.Good luck Ash.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 6:24 GMT)

Now what happened Rimpi? Everybody just likes to give opinions. El capitano knows Dhawan has been failing due to his mistakes, which is not the case with Rohit. Correct decision

Posted by joseyesu on (January 28, 2014, 5:16 GMT)

Surprise that Dhawan get dropped, and Raina's place is now open for selection May be the WC top7 can be like Dhawan, RSharma, Gambir, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Jadeja

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 1:29 GMT)

Y drop dhawan?? Drop rohit . Since Kohli gone India 170/10 kiwis win 173/2

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 1:29 GMT)

India should play with one spinner only in the oversea tours as wickets are not spin friendly. Ashwin if you want to be successful stop playing IPL But money money ?


Posted by StreetView on (January 28, 2014, 0:47 GMT)

@ Gurdit Singh Well arent those two were the only series he has performed well since 2008? Just like you say there is Dhawan to play aggressively, there are better batsman waiting to take Rohit Sharma's place.

Posted by GrindAR on (January 28, 2014, 0:46 GMT)

Containing mean under 5 rpo in the NZ matches. Taking wickets can happen during stringent run containment, especially with NZ. I dont see that was successful consistently. I understand the rule, but as a captain, if the spinners are not suitable during the fielding restriction, he has to use other options. It is not new to start the bowling with spinners and switch mode. Problem for India is, the fielding uint is not fit enough for the overs during fielding restriction with pace attack. thats where NZ cashed in. Why dont team India focus on sharpenning their fielding efforts?

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 0:16 GMT)

@ Chetan Asher on (January 27, 2014, 18:46 GMT) @ yoohoo on (January 27, 2014, 18:00 GMT)

I agree with both of you. Chetan's comments about our close-in fielding brigade took me back to those days. Yes, I could visualise Solkar's feats. Even today, it gives me thrills, just to remember. Budhi Kunderan was another. He was not only a good wicket keeper & batsman, but could also field , in any position within the inner circle, with distinction. There were a few more, like Ashar in slips (sorry, he came in much later). Let me not name names; my memories are little clouded with age.

Yooho's point on fielding restrictions are also extremely valid.

All the other points mentioned by both of you are right, and I stand corrected. You two also proved that a counterpoint can be made, with dignity, and respect. And, with facts; not opinionated views. In these days. it is hard to find these qualities, while responding to others. Thanks.

Posted by VenkyN on (January 27, 2014, 23:13 GMT)

No spinner is going to get wickets without the support of his captain. Dhoni's tactics when Ashwin and Jadeja bowl is quite obvious. The five mandatory men in the ring, the four allowed out. Sweeper, deep midwicket, deep square leg, long off or long on. Keep bowling to the field, so the damage is limited to a single. Period...

In recent times, I have NEVER seen a slip, or a close-in catcher employed. All the fielders in the ring seem to start at the ring, rather than trying to stay in close to prevent a single. How is a spinner expected to take wickets with this field ?

Ashwin is a little different from the likes of Jadeja and co. He bowls significantly slower through the air most times, and relies on bounce as much as he does on spin. He will always be ineffective when bowling to a field such as the one that Dhoni employs to him.

For such an intelligent bowler, he does not seem to realize that he is destroying his career slowly by bowling to this field.

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 27, 2014, 22:55 GMT)

how many wickets he got in last 100 overs he bowled? that is only stat that most (99%) indians want. frame of mind is irrelevant to billion indians.if he is leading spinner out of thousand spinners from india then he needs to bowl teams out, not manage 1 wicket in last 100 overs.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 22:51 GMT)

We already had a lot of batsmen in our team but have no a good spinner. That's what we need!!!!! I don't believe that we don't have better options than ASHWIN. Please give a break...

Posted by satchander on (January 27, 2014, 22:48 GMT)

@ pull_shot: Could not agree with you more mate ! Seriously I heard of similar talks by Bajji, Sehwag, Gambhir etc in the past even when these guys were not performing. Please guys cut the crap and start speaking through your performances on the cricket field/

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 22:45 GMT)

@cricketsunami ... "Runs Rohit sharma made starting from SA series.. dont be surprized, a few of the fans were trying to make him captain of the team" .... One of my friend is also suffering from Rohit-Mania ...After seeing his 39 in the previous match, he has gone berserk and wants rohit to take up Indian captaincy :P ....If he ever becomes the captain of team India, Cricket will have a slow death ...

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 22:40 GMT)

@Gurdit Singh ...."do you remember rohits performance in ct2013 and he was highest scorer in tri series in west indies." .....I don't remember anything ...All I can remember is his half century in VB series final (alongside sachin) ....We are talking about current performance outside sub-continent and your Rohit has failed miserably ...Even Ashwin has performed really well in ct2013... Infact, he bowled the all important over in CT final vs England and won the match for India ....Next time ask your dear rohit sharma to get out soon without exhausting deliveries in the first 10 overs ....

Posted by ZedInLosAngles on (January 27, 2014, 22:36 GMT)

No doubt it is tough for spin bowlers these days. But Ashwin has been too many bowling short/bad balls in the recent series. Also, he tries too many things, instead of tight line and length. His stop and bowl tactic at critical times during the game has actually backfired. He needs to stop the stop. But overall he is one of the better bowlers in the current lineup.

Posted by satchander on (January 27, 2014, 22:17 GMT)

If you are a CSK player and part of India squad, you will be in best frame of mind irrespective of whether you take wickets or not. He is becoming like Bajji who when could not take wickets any longer became a restrictive bowler and a useful batsman. Disgusted with Dhoni and his blind support for players like Raina, Rohit who are useless.

Posted by TheUltimateTruth on (January 27, 2014, 21:45 GMT)

@FlairSelva, Mishra's stats include matches against Zimbabwe, etc., while Ashwin's doesn't. It is important to exclude Zim and Bang and then compare. I am no fan of Ashwin's. If Mishra has indeed done better, I hope the powers-that-be would include him instead.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 21:29 GMT)

Bring Little Master back in the team at No.4. I think he can still bat better than Rahane.

Posted by ArvinLuvsCricket on (January 27, 2014, 21:08 GMT)

Not sure what frame of mind he is in.. being okay about not picking wickets shows he is in hopeless frame of mind.

Posted by InsideHedge on (January 27, 2014, 20:12 GMT)

Wickets is the best method to stem the flow of runs. This interview exposes Ashwin's bowling passiveness. And what's that silly delay where he literally freezes for a couple of seconds mid delivery? Pure nonsense.

All the Indian bowlers bowl too many short deliveries, I'm amazed at the number of long hops the spinners deliver. Compare to Nathan McCullum who is bowling against Indian batsmen honed on playing spinners on spinning tracks: McCullum has cleverly bowled round the wicket, and very full preventing the batsmen from getting underneath the bal and launching himl.

Credit to Ashwin for being one of the few Indian batters to get after McCullum - even if it did cost him his wicket, I put that down to Guptil's brilliant fielding.

Posted by FlairSelva on (January 27, 2014, 19:52 GMT)

Ashwin vs Mishra in Away(Home of opposition) matches: 25 matches - 19 Wkts with Avg 54.5, Strike Rate 63, Economy - 5.2, More than 3 wickets - 0 times. 14 matches - 31 Wkts with Avg 19.5, Strike Rate 26, Economy - 4.5, More than 3 wickets - 3 times.

Posted by Nampally on (January 27, 2014, 19:23 GMT)

I had expressed my view of deficiencies in Ashwin's bowling before. Ashwin should focus on length, direction & accuracy more than on his umpteen combo of - "Carrom ball, Doosra, Teesra". He is an off spinner who needs to push the ball with control & to the field placed. To start with he needs to bowl over the wkts. instead of round the wkts. & focus on off stump attack rather than leg stump. In ODI's leg stump attack is too expensive. I was pleased to see Ashwin change to over the wkts. in ODI 3 & did focus on off stump attack. But since he did it for the first time he was still wavering towards the leg stump & got punished a few times for it. But on the whole his shift to over the wkt. off stump attack did good to his performance.His solo wkt. of Anderson was worth its weight in gold. Please repeat it. NZ is strong on the leg side. India needs to focus on or outside the off stump in bowling - applies to Spinners & seamers. For heavens sake no long hops or full tosses "the way to win"!

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

@satish chandran- do you remember rohits performance in ct2013 and he was highest scorer in tri series in west indies.people who criticise that he is defensive in the start should know that he is capable of making up later.he scored 100 of 114 balls in bangalore snd in the next 37 balls he scored 100 more runs.shikhar dhawan is there to play aggressively in the powerplay.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 18:56 GMT)

ashwin takes the position of striker bowler in indian team, and he is expected to take wickets and not contain runs.. jadeja is the 'keep it tight' bowler and he is performing that better than ashwin... as a striker bowler he hasnt done much... he is expected to run through the opposition when the conditions assist him,but his best bowling figures is 3 for 24 even after playuing 73 matches.. even jadeja has better last 4 years, harbhajan was dropped because he wasnot able to pick wickets,but he had a better economy rate (4.4) than ashwin... in last years amit mishra has played 16 odis and taken 33 wickets,he should play as the lead spinner and let ashwin and jadeja fight it out for the position of containing spinner...

Posted by Temuzin on (January 27, 2014, 18:50 GMT)

Shashi Kiran: That must be a joke. Stuart"vinay Kumar" Binny a fast bowler? loved it.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 18:46 GMT)

@JosePuliampatta - I am not an Ashwin fan, I would prefer him replaced with a seamer in oversease, seamer-friendly conditions. However just thought I should call out some differences between today & those days. In the Bedi, Prasanna & chandra days, the fielding cordon around the batsmen read - Wadekar, Abid Ali, Solkar..... Remember - Solkar at forward short leg.....capable of catching almost anything that left the bat ! Batsmen were scared of even trying to play the ball on the onside. As a result, a lot of high-risk shots were attempted against the spin, resulting in batsmen getting out.....Show me a Solkar in Dhoni's team. Also - bats were lighter, grounds were larger AND above all, fitness of players was a little less than it is today, there was a break in between a test match, if a series was tied, there would be an extra day in a test match (meaning a more worn out wicket for them to bowl on) A sweep in those days was rare, leave alone a reverse sweep ! Times have changed.

Posted by Temuzin on (January 27, 2014, 18:45 GMT)

Sathish Chandran on (January 27, 2014, 16:46 GMT) 18,19,14,6,0,25,3,20,39 ....Runs Rohit sharma made starting from SA series.. dont be surprized, a few of the fans were trying to make him captain of the team. Reason he performs best when he is the captain. Proof Mumbai Indian in IPL. lol...

Posted by yoohoo on (January 27, 2014, 18:00 GMT)

@Jose Puliampatta - Please don't compare 50yrs ago with now. Back then there were no fielding restrictions, if the batsman went after the spinner then they would get caught in the deep (even Venkatapathy Raju took so many wickets through that route), and otherwise they would get lbw/bowled/stumped. Nowadays, spinning is a tough job. Even a 15 degree rule user like Saeed anwar is finding it difficult to get wickets nowadays.

Posted by patsIndians on (January 27, 2014, 17:54 GMT)

who cares for your frame of mind... what all we need is winning, starting from aussie tour ashwin never performed well with the ball. It is better to play only one spinner jaddu in the team and drop ashwin and bring in Binny

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 17:36 GMT)

How come Prasanna, Bedi & Chandrashekhar could get wickets on overseas tours, when they had even lesser spin-friendly grounds. The only one who struggled a bit was Venkatraghavan. Even he performed better than Ashwin!

Any theories, Ashwin?

Posted by StreetView on (January 27, 2014, 17:00 GMT)

@Gurdit Singh Yawn. By your own logic, Jadeja has 3 triple hundreds but even Sachin,Dravid have none. That does not make him better than those two.' Supremely talented' Rohit's Ranji records(like most others) are bloated by poor pitches. If other cricketers are dropped after a few bad performances the same yard-stick should be applied for him too. Even Ashwin,Bhuvaneshwar have more hunger to score runs .

Posted by wolf777 on (January 27, 2014, 16:47 GMT)

Good he hit some runs at the bottom of the inning. However, he is in the team to take wicket and that obviously he is not good at outside India. There is no need for two spinners in the eleven outside India. No country is stupid enough to give Indian side wickets that suit spinners. The spinner who cannot take wickets is a liability and must be benched. Scoring occasional runs cannot be a substitute for Ashwin's primary job which is to take wickets. Indian Batsmen have found it hard to score on green bouncy tracks and Ashwin has found it hard to take wickets. Playing four fast bowlers will be the best option as it at least give a chance on green bouncy tracks. Dhoni somehow needs to figure out a way to complete 50 overs in time limits with four fast bowlers in the eleven. All other teams do it without much difficulties and so should India as well. If Dhoni cannot ensure 50 overs in time limit with 4 fast bowlers, he is not fit to be the Captain.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 16:46 GMT)

18,19,14,6,0,25,3,20,39 ....Runs Rohit sharma made starting from SA series.. I am just wondering why some people are still supporting him?? ..coz he is god-gifted talent?? ....In the 2nd ODI vs NZ, he received 2 lives but couldn't score a half century ...Throw this guy out before talking about Ashwin ...

Posted by BigINDFan on (January 27, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

MSD is the worst captain overseas becoz he does not adapt to situations and blames the rules. Agreed that none of the captains right now are good in this area unlike Crowe or Waugh. Ind should make a few changes to the team and approach for rest of the series:

Bring Binny in place of Raina (Raina needs to improve his technique before playing overseas). Kohli and Dhawan should open the innings, Ashwin should play at No. 3 (he plays short ball and pace well play him as an allrounder). Rohit should come at No. 4, MSD at No. 5 and Jadeja at No. 6 with Binny at No. 7 (very handy during powerplay).

Bhuvi and Pandey should open the bowling with Shami and Varun first change. All 4 should practice bowling a lot of yorkers and change in pace so that MSD can use them in short busts from overs 40-50.

Fletcher should get an experience bowling coach - McGrath, Akram etc. to help the young bowlers learn how to bend their back for bouncers and bowl yorkers at the death.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 16:32 GMT)

"test:avg-66 first class- avg-62,runs-5200,hs-309*" ..... Die hard Maggi Sharma fan spotted ...Keep your first class stats with you ....Who needs that? ..Ask him to score a fifty outside subcontinent ....His heroics at the top (3 from 23, 2 from 20 etc) is hurting us badly ... Who can forget his heroics against steyn's opening spell ???

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 16:17 GMT)

Ashwin, true, one can not be taking wickets all the time. The fact is that you did not take wickets in Australia, England, South Africa and now, in New Zealand. May be these are not spinners-friendly, but spinners from other countries have taken at least some wickets. Even Jadeja got wickets in the only test he played in SA. You had indicated that you had done your best but that was not enough to be in the team. Better concentrate on developing other tricks.

Posted by TRAM on (January 27, 2014, 15:43 GMT)

EAS Prasanna said in an interview last year to the effect of "If you can make the ball talk in the air (by drifts/dips) you dont need to worry about the pitch". For that, the spinner should flight the ball a LOT and give lot of rip (spin) as well.

Ashwin is a different kind of spinner though more a Kumble kind, fast accurate but less spin and only occasional flight. I also remember the match when Saeed Anwar hit 194+ in Chennai ODI#1209 hitting 3 consecutive sixes of Kumble. After the match Anwar said he treated Kumble as medium pace bowler. I say this just to quote what happens to non-flighting spinners if the pitch does not help. I am aware that the flighter should be capable of deceiving in the air. Mere flight wont do.

So, in that sense I think India should use PChawla (and to some extent AMishra) who is such a flighting - "deceiving in the air" kind of bowlers, because the pitch is not helping spin. If he is given as much support as Ashwin gets he can be a deadly bowler.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 15:28 GMT)

man this guy only speaks and does nothing in the field..what has he done ? 1 wicket for 47 runs in 10 overs!as if he had taken a five for he speaks many..he said it was a learning curve in south africa,even jadu played his first series in SA and took 6 wickets..

Posted by pull_shot on (January 27, 2014, 15:18 GMT)

@ srinideva what basis ur criticizing sehwag, he failed overseas in last 2-3 years of his carrier during which he failed in india as well, Sehwag has achieved more than any opening indian batsman except gavaskar in overseas, even Ian chapell has described is 195 in MCG as best 11 100's he has seen, if ur praising dhoni for 50's in NZ sehwag has piled hundreds in NZ

Posted by pull_shot on (January 27, 2014, 15:09 GMT)

Who cares for his frame of mind? He should sit out, its frustrating to see indian players not performing well and still saying they have done ok

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 15:04 GMT)

"Ashwin said he was feeling satisfied with the way he was bowling and had worked out how he had to go about the job away from home. "I have sorted out what length and what kind of bowling needs to be done. There are certain ways you need to construct a spell abroad. I have learnt that and put that into practice."


The two key words in the statement above are:


Unfortunately, no one else is saying it Ashwin.

One thing is true though. He is erring less on length. But, erring a lot online. He seems to have developed a fetish for legs -- lost count of the number of balls aimed at leg stump, or even outside the legstump. Many of those balls had gone for runs or wides. The proportion of such deliveries had increased, after his learning & graduation from the South African University.

Yet, I will keep him in the team; since he is batting better than everyone else except Kohli (though that is not his primary job). Unfortunately Pujara is NOT selected for the ODI team!

Posted by bhushanB on (January 27, 2014, 14:47 GMT)

So much for Dhoni's settled side.... I guess the TIE with a No.8 ranked team is like a WC 2015 for them....

So with this so called settled team, Dhoni is going to defend the title in 2015.. in the same grounds..

With this is the plight against No.8 ranked ODI team..... how will this so called SETTLED TEAM fare against, SA, ENG, AUS in these conditions..

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

@streetview-rohits profile: test:avg-66 first class- avg-62,runs-5200,hs-309* odi-runs-3100+,avg-36,hs-209 he is most talented player in the world,he has matured lately and i bet you that he will shut the mouth of his criticisers tomorrow.

Posted by bhushanB on (January 27, 2014, 14:39 GMT)


If Ashwin is the alrounder.. then what is Jadeja.... and for a long time...what is Raina...(who is bowling a few, when specialists like Bhuvi are not bowling full quota, even when they are bowling well...?)

Posted by A.Ak on (January 27, 2014, 14:35 GMT)

Batsmen played cautiously against Ashwin. So the credit should go to the batsman than blaming the bowler.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

Sir. . Y u r nt giving a chance to an al rounder Binny! !? We need fast bowlers in NZ wickets nt more spinners..

Posted by kevaldedhia813 on (January 27, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

He himself should sit out. We want wickets not his frame of mind. Amit mishra or any other deserving candidate should be given chance. Dont want him in team at all. rather pick a batsman.

Please ashwin if you are reading this please drop yourself off the team for good of India or we will lose another match.

Posted by premendrasinghal on (January 27, 2014, 13:23 GMT)

I will still keep Ashwin in the squad not becoz his bowling but because of his batting ability he is much more reliable than Rohit Sharma (the so called talented batsman). If Rohit can have a place in squad then why not Ashwin. I think Dhoni chooses a player not because of his talent and current form. He chooses a players on their inner instinct, confidence, teamwork ability.

Posted by couchpundit on (January 27, 2014, 13:13 GMT)

For All those who question Ashwin's honest are you guys about indian bowlers? Tell me one Indian bowler who excelled outside India apart from Roger binny(which is like 30 years back ) and kapildev in 1970's. None of the indian bowlers henceforth have done well outside india let alone spinners.Whatever wickets they have got were by creating pressure and not by sheer brilliance of the bowlers(including srinath who created lot of pressure...only for venkatesh prasad to give it away)

Problem is Indian captains dont know how to set field in foregin conditions. These guys needs to be coached and given lessons on how to set field. Anyways worry is Batsmen like Rohit Sharma,Dhawan and Raina....These guys need to be booted atleast Rohit and Raina...bring in binny move up rahane with dhawan and bring Pujara in middle order....but anyways Dhoni will never drop Raina once he is selected for a tour(dhoni's personal commercial interest) even when he was injured Raina played last match

Posted by StreetView on (January 27, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

@Gurdit Singh So you say rohit is the best batsman in the Indian team? LOL ...Die-hard Mumbai Indians fan eh? :P Even Dale Steyn batted better than rohit in South Africa. He is not unlucky. Rather very vey very lucky for being a 'non-performing player' in the team since 2008 :D

Posted by BVNaresh on (January 27, 2014, 12:20 GMT)

India desperatelyneeds a seaming allrounder who would bowl atleast 8 overs and bat at no 7/8.The selectors need to give opportunities to create one from now for the 2015 wc.apart from 3 fast hit the deck bowlers.Without this the WC is long gone for sure.

Posted by joseyesu on (January 27, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

@espncricdiehrtfan - Even Ajmal did not have the good number of wickets in the recent series against SL. And Ajmal cannot bat like Ashwin and neither he is holding alrounder spot.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 11:57 GMT)

It always surprises me when someone calls him a thinking cricketer!! You have to OUT THINK a batsman to be a successful bowler. Everyone thinks.

Posted by srinideva on (January 27, 2014, 11:57 GMT)

@latecut_04, Don`t spoil your beautiful desk, My friend. Dhoni is a Wicket keeper batsman who avgs. around 52 in ODI and 40+ in Test. his overseas records are poor. I agree. He is not a full time batsman. He is WK. there were Legend who still averages lower than Dhoni`s Test avg. What is the bat AVg of Sehwag outside the sub continent?. With medicore technique Dhoni still manages to score three 50+ scores in this series shows the class of this man. you can`t expect everything from one man. Do you? Dhoni is the hottest property in indian Cricket if not International.

Posted by heartbreakerz on (January 27, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

@ramli.....yup, Ashwin bowled very well against AUS at home but on those pitches anyone would have taken wkts...(even N Lyon took many wkts in that series) n we all know that Aussies are poor against spin so they had no chance on those pitches.

Apart from not taking wkts, Ashwin has not been able to check the run-rate too....In the last 10-15 matches, his average economy rate is almost 6 rpo, which isn't too good.

Ashwin's primary job is to bowl n take wkts...which he hasn't been able to do recently. The runs he scores will always be bonus.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

The way Ashwin plays as a batsman with his timing it's lesson for the top orders.

Posted by espncricdiehrtfan on (January 27, 2014, 10:50 GMT)

ashwin says he is not worried what people think abt him, he has many execuse like bowling aboard new fielding rules nd he said he learnt lot in sa, which is clearly showing in nzlnd what he Ashwin plz stop execuse nd learn frm sa nd pak bowlers specially ajmal who always bowl in power play nd slog overs nd always in top ranking. Dhoni should give atleast one chance to amit mis..

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 10:36 GMT)

my ideal playing xi for the world cup: 1.gambhir 2.rohit 3.kohli 4.yuvraj 5.raina/rayadu 6.dhoni 7.jadeja 8.harbhajan 9.bhuvi 10.zaheer/umesh yadav 11.shami

Posted by Squidy87 on (January 27, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

It will be very interesting to track his progress for the rest of the summer against NZ and next summer against Australia if he is still around. His bowling ranking (particularly his no. 7 test ranking) is highly inflated due to India's large number of home games over the past two years, playing on pitches that are designed for him to excel.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

Ashwin can be tried out as an opener in ODIs.

Posted by LovedFansofIndianCricket on (January 27, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

@ Gurudit Singh. If he unlucky then how he is selected for Indian Team. In india more than 10 K people are playing cricket. If he isn't lucky why people like Manoj Tiwary get wonded and Yuvi is not possible to play because of cancer and Gambir and Viru' form is Droped. If all are performing well he is not in playing XI. If he is Unlucky then he should droped from team. Because in cricket there are 70%. Pls don't tell his luck for hi non performance in field. Is he lucky in Bangalore not lucky in SA?

Posted by netk on (January 27, 2014, 10:10 GMT)

@gurdit singh - So according 2 u ashwin shud b dropped coz he is a bowler selected for his bowling only but scoring/batting better than rohit (current form). so as per u there shud b 11 batsman who shud not bowl and 5 bowlers who shud not bat.... LOL... Ashwin atleast doin somthing apart from his bowling by contributing something to d country with the bat. But wat abt Rohit's part. Consuming d deliveries at d start(don ever say he can make up later - won happen daily), making things easier for the opposition bowlers and harder for the rest of d batsmen. Jus stop complaining abt d players form. This is d squad selected 4 d series n they wil du der best in the series. Haf 2 support them. The team was preparing for 2015 WC and need more chances... KNOWN DEVILS WERE (always) BETTER THAN UNKNOWN ANGELS...

Posted by Sultan2007 on (January 27, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

I am sorry but it has to be about Ashwin's core role in the Team. If he is going to be our stock bowler (5 RPO's), then India will always be chasing more than 300 since with rare exception the oppostion are likely to be no more than 4-5 wickets down in regular play. We will off course pick up some in the slog but that doesnt really count since the momentum of the oppositions' innings will already have been built in the first 40 overs with someting like 230 for 4!

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 9:45 GMT)

to all rohit sharma criticisers ,rohit sharma is the best batsman in the current indian team.he's been unlucky to get out.ashwin should be thrown out of the team because his main job is to take wickets.even rohit sharma would have bowling figures like ashwin if he bowls.ashwin has taken 2 wickets in his last 90 overs of international cricket at an average of more than 200.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

He played a good inning and now everybody is talking about how talented he is. But the fact is that he is not living upto the expectations. His poor form with the ball is something to be concerned about, but captain dhoni seems satisfied with his performance.

Posted by netk on (January 27, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

Ashwin can b promoted to no. 4..... His batting is far more fluent than his current bowling form. Atleast the no.4 batsman problem can b sorted and it gives a great chance to include a better bowler (than ash as far as many ash haters concern). Plus he can can roll his arm over wen requires. (hope not required wen the better bowler than ash can do better) If this happens credit goes for changing an another indian bowler to a batsman.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 9:13 GMT)

@ balaji28 Anna Balaji, how do you think that people who complain ashwin's wicket less streak, lack cricketing sense. I can understand that you come from TN and naturally support your region's players. But, you better understand that Ashwin is first a bowler and next a batsman (the fact that he will never be a fielder or a good runner is altogether a different thing). He is an orator, not being good even in that, since he does not talk with confidence, but, do it with arrogance that he is and will be backed by MSD & NS (and from his good fans like……….) forever. By saying that "at least ashwin is bowling economic spells and get some good runs with the bat", you have already concurred that he is only on par with rasool, piyush, bhajji, amit mishra, shabhaz nadeem, jalaj saxena. As far as pitches are concerned, you are singing the same lines which MSD speaks out whenever he is on the wrong side of the result of a match. Just lame lame excuses. And finally, if you are comparing or even trying to compare Ashwin with Warne or Murali, just think….. who lacks cricketing sense.

Posted by wapuser on (January 27, 2014, 8:49 GMT)

A good inning and ashwin got rid of all his haters.

Posted by manu566 on (January 27, 2014, 8:45 GMT)

Ashwin is just a ordinary spinner, cant expect wkts from him!

Posted by Naresh28 on (January 27, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

AT LEAST ASHWIN has been batting well. If he wants to be like KUMBLE he should do something about his wicket taking skills. India sorely misses the KUMBLE replacement.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

According to me there are some changes to be done in batting order in the ODI team as follows,Dhawan,Rahane,Virat,Dhoni,ashwin,Rohit,raina,jadeja,kumar,sami,aron. because rohit having difficulty hitting in a new ball and also increase the req runrate which gives more problem for down order batsman,whereas dhoni is succeeded up in the order(example World cup final and many times).ashwin is best 3rd down best place because if he face alteast 30 ball get 20 to 25 runs that enough ,we will have strond hitter down the order,and also ashwin not having problem of hitting short ball. whereas raina,rohit and jadeja will be handful to increase the death runrate. ashwin batting average Test 39.40,ODI 18.13.

Posted by ramli on (January 27, 2014, 8:32 GMT)

@heartbreakerz ... I thought Ashwin bowled brilliantly against Aussies in India very recently ... do you say Aussies are an average team? He is being given a job in ODIs (containment) which he is performing ... wickets will certainly add to our benefit .. and don't forget the value he brings as a batsman ... after all, he is still valuable as a fifth bowler and a useful batsman, that is an all-rounder ...

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (January 27, 2014, 8:20 GMT)

When will india remove its EVER TALENTED, NON PERFORMING (n)ROHIT SHARAMA from the team? Ash far better at top than rohit!

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 8:19 GMT)

No doubt you are talented. Please spent more time for the bowling practice. You and Jadeja can turn around by bowling if both work hard.

Posted by Rajeshj on (January 27, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

He has got a good cricketing brain and one who looks to learn and improve constantly.. Compared to players like Dhawan/Rohit/Raina, who never make the extra effort to learn and adapt to overseas conditions, at least we have a spinner who likes to do that.. The way he scores runs are through proper shots and I think its best to consider him an allrounder rather than spinner.. He bowls in mostly unresponsive pitches and in most of the high-scoring ODIs at India, SA and New Zealand, he has come out with an economy rate at around 5, which is phenomenal.. He is not getting wickets because batsmen play him cautiously and don't try loose shots with him, which again shows his class.. I am sure if Mishra/Razool/Ojha had played in these flat tracks, they would have gone for 20-30 runs more than him.. We need to understand, appreciate and nurture the talent with us rather than criticizing him endlessly..

Posted by latecut_04 on (January 27, 2014, 8:05 GMT)

@srinideva--I just spilled the gravy all over my work desk while having lunch reading your comment.And tell me our idols whom Dhoni has 'sidelined'.Can this bloke 'BUY' a run or 'HOLD' a bat outside Asia in a test match....RIDICULOUS!!! India's squad should be Rahane,Gambhir,Kohli,Pujara,Rohit,Dhoni, Jadeja,Shami,Bhuvi,Ojha/Binny,Aaron/Umesh.

Posted by balaji28 on (January 27, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

I think people who complains ashwin's wicket less streak lacks cricketing sense.Please develop your cricketing sense.This so said lively wicket in south africa and newzealand doesn't even provide 1% chance for the spinners to take wickets and even warne and muralitharan won't perform well in these kind of conditions.To spinners grave new fielding restriction literally kills spinners. At least ashwin is bowling economic spells and get some good runs in bat.If ashwin fails to get a wicket in turning track then start complaining about him.I think ashwin will surely improve his bowling abilities in the test series against kiwis.Even if rasool,piyush,bhajji,amit mishra,shabhaz nadeem,jalaj saxena replaces ashwin may be they can bowl wicket less spell with high economiesSo please guys digest the truth that these wickets provides 0% support to spinners and stop complaining about ashwin.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

He has to be in the best frame of since he is from CSK n thanks to Dhoni , he is assured of his place matter what....had it been some other player instead of Ashwin, he would've been kicked out of the team long time back....ask Bhajji

Posted by ASK3 on (January 27, 2014, 7:46 GMT)

@arvsingh, mediocre performer? really? This guy literally just saved our team from a big defeat (along with Jadeja). With the constant worries of our batsmen failing, bringing in a "genuine" spinner would mean that we lose batting depth; furthermore, if he's a flop show, his figures for the last match would reflect that, he got 1-47 against a team that scored over 300; surely that's good returns right?

Posted by heartbreakerz on (January 27, 2014, 7:36 GMT)

Ashwin is an avg spinner who has been overhyped...he can only take wkts against the likes of WI, NZ n that too only on the dustbowls at home. He struggled against Eng even at home n he has always been a poor bowler outside india. But he looks a pretty decent batsman so maybe he should try to become a batting allrounder because he is not good enough as a specialist bowler only.

Posted by arvsingh on (January 27, 2014, 7:29 GMT)

If this is his "Best frame of mind" than he needs to demonstrate it on the field. Ashwin is good in talking big but fizzles out like a flop show on the pitch. He has failed as India's ace spin bowler and he needs to understand that he is in the team as a bowler nit a batsman. Its time for Indian selectors to boot out this mediocre performer and bring in a genuine spinner.

Posted by shanks1967 on (January 27, 2014, 6:47 GMT)

@Ashker Enoon: When did he say he is the best bowler in the world. Dont contrive things out of your hat to get featured here.

He is saying he is in the best frame of mind. He has been given a task in overseas condition to play according to the captain's instructions. He comes on in the 11th over which is effectively the 6th over(with 2 new balls being used simultaneously) and batsmen would tend to try and hit him over the top with the fielding restrictions on. If you look at stats he is one among the fastest Indian bowlers to a 100 test wickets and also approaching 1000 test runs with 2 test century. Dont tell me helpful conditions and repeat the same old stale stuff of turning pitches, what about opposition bowlers who could not take as many...or how about opposition batsmen who could not score many runs...I am not saying Ashwin is exceptional, yes he is an average bowler but he is an eternal trier...Rohit is a great talent but see what he does with it

Posted by srinideva on (January 27, 2014, 6:20 GMT)

Dhoni is the best thing happen to Indian cricket in the last decade. Some of the Indian fans don`t like him just bcos he overshadowed their idols (SRT and gang) and he sidelined immoral attitude players from the Indian team. Everyone is looking for their favorite players should be in the playing XI.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

He said so many thing before the tour of SA like he is the best bowler in the world and all of a sudden he says "I had a tour of South Africa which was quite a learning curve for me"! Despite all his bad performances now he is saying "This is probably the best frame of mind I have been in". Is joking here or what? He is nothing but another average bowler to come out of IPL, picking up a lot of 2nd/3rd class wickets. He is lucky to be in this Indian team. The day Dhoni retires / resigns as a captain it will be the end of Ashwin too. Power of CSK i tell u!

Posted by Siva_Bala75 on (January 27, 2014, 5:52 GMT)

The new normal is: Powerful bats, just 4 outside the ring, 300+ ODI totals. This has become a complete batsman's game now- Look at the spinners around the world- Swann retired middle of the series, Ajmal/ Herath struggled in Middle East. Blaming Ashwin, the Indian fans rooted for Amit Mishra. The last ODI match#3424 at Nagpur against Australia that Mishra played- Mishra gave 78 runs in 10 overs without any wickets whereas Ashwin got 2 for 64 in 10.

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (January 27, 2014, 5:36 GMT)

time to drop talented rohit or dhawan, make ashwin as a pure batsman.

Posted by uglierthansin on (January 27, 2014, 5:32 GMT)

India should opening their batting with Ashwin and Jadeja. That way they can go into a match with 7 bowlers. Might be worth a try. Can't do worse than Sharma and Dhawan are doing right now

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