Sri Lanka v India, 5th ODI, Pallekele August 3, 2012

Wins more important for team - Ashwin

36

Rohit Sharma has made 5, 0, 0 and 4 in the ODI series, and India have conceded 90 and 97 runs to Sri Lanka's lower-middle order from overs 41 to 50 in the first and third games. But with the side having already won the series 3-1 going into the final match on Saturday in Pallekele, R Ashwin has said that there wasn't any need to talk about matters such as individual performance and death-over bowling as long as the side was winning.

"It's a team game and as long as the team is doing well I don't think anyone should comment," Ashwin said, when asked whether Rohit would be replaced for the final ODI. "It's probably a mistake everyone tries to do in terms of picking on someone. I don't think it's the right thing to do. Everybody in the team will be backing each other and we are doing really well so there is no necessity to talk about anybody at all."

Rohit averages 14.54 this year and has lasted 28 balls in four innings this series. India persisted with him and left out legspinner Rahul Sharma in the previous game so that the long-benched batsman Manoj Tiwary could be given a chance. Ajinkya Rahane is the only player in the 15-man squad who is yet to get a game in the series. Ashwin hinted, though, that India would not be making any changes to the XI.

"I wouldn't think so [that changes would be made], but it's totally left to the team management. We are just looking to go up 4-1 in the series. I think as we go on it will help us in the [ICC] rankings as well." The top four ODI sides are sandwiched together with Australia on 119 points and South Africa, India and England on 118 points.

Ashwin said India had been working on their death-over bowling but repeated that while the side was winning, it didn't matter. "It does happen. The bowlers do tend to go for runs. We need to find different lengths at different venues. Last game we finished it with almost seven-eight overs to spare. As long as the team batting first or second has [outdone] the other side I don't think it should even come under question. It's 11 on 11 and not bowlers against batsmen and batsmen against bowlers."

India came into this series after a two-month long break and Ashwin said it that helped the players to regroup. "The break has helped everyone to get back together. The general mood in the team has been upbeat. The freshness in the camp is actually helping. We have been playing a few soccer games as well. This 3-1 will give us an indication that everything is right and whatever we have done away from the field has helped us."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • screamingeagle on August 4, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    Giving a player an extended run is not such a bad thing. What is worrying is there seems to be no plan, at least from what we see from outside. What about Rahane? Does he not merit a look in? Or we just let Sehwag have his fun there? Maybe Gambhir is doing OK and he can sit out a game? If not, why take these guys not in the first 11 to SL? As far as improvements, the concept should be try to do things better. Just because team is winning does not men you keep doing the same. Having said that, Ashwin was probably talking about winning only in Rohit's context and not in the team performance aspect.

  • mathewjohn2176 on August 4, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Posted by Gssmy on (August 04 2012, 01:31 AM GMT),He is performing better than anybody and thats why he is playing for India,unlike you sit and vent your frustration here.He done some hardwork to be playing for india and not to become some armchair critics like you n me..appreciate the cricketers when they win,instead of usual negativity all the time.Indian fans need to grow up first to support their cricket team.God save Indian cricket when they have fans like this.

  • on August 4, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    shut up ashwin chek ur record excpt lanka u havnt bowled well against other teams so dont hide ur weakness while winning u have to prove urself in front of others aussies played u very well do homework against them they are coming india in oct

  • Scube on August 4, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    If you send a guy with no discipline as your spokesman, you can expect such meaningless comments only! He is playing for almost couple of yrs now, but is bloating up by the day with poor fitness! His bowling is somehow holding up in most of the matches, otherwise he'll be another worthless member in the playing 11 with his terrible fielding and atrotious running between the wickets! I sincerely wish that he becomes more disciplined in his fitness regimen and becomes a more all round contributor to the team!

  • AMAZINGFAN on August 4, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    guys stop bashing ashwin.afterall he is the best spinner in india and he is ranked at no.6 in icc rankings.he didn't bowled well in aus so has bhajji.harbhajan's record in aus is far worse than ashwin.also ashwin did well in odi's in england.he was the second highest wicket taker in that series behind grame swann.

  • Iyer on August 4, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    Ashwin is the future of indian cricket. He is the most talented off spinner India has produced in the last 2 decades. He is handling tough questions from media with ease. I think he should be moulded to take the captaincy of Indian cricket in near future. I know all north indians dont like this, but sorry guys it is what it is. Ashwin is here to stay for a long time. Days of harbhajan singh is over. Dont dream about bhaji and write ill about this young Ashwin. His performance is 1000 times better than harbhajan. Ashwin can become a great allrounder, I see Kapil Dev in him.

  • nachami on August 4, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    Ashwin talks the truth. It is appreciable. If we keep picking up on a particular player, am sure, the player would succumb to pressure... Is it what we want? So wait and watch the team performance. If the team is failing, they would correct. In a team game, we should see the team performance. Not all the eleven can contribute every match. One or two might fail and the others will make up rather back up. Nothing wrong in giving a run for Rohit instead of writing him off totally. After all, Rohit has done so much in Domestic and it is only fair that he gets some chances before he is condemned. Don't be harsh on Ashwin for speaking truth and his heart.

  • on August 4, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    hello indian zen how you are saying aswing is better then bhajji in means, bhajji is a expeerinced test and odi player he got lot of wickets in hands but ashwin is just new to international cricket he couldnt bowl well in australia, he can bowl well only in subcontinent pitches

  • on August 4, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    Gssmy, please tell me who are the better spinners than Aswin in the team, because last time i checked Ashwin was the lead spinner, that means that HE is the best spinner in the team

  • on August 4, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    It is either STUPID or CRUEL or BOTH not to blood in Rahane!

  • screamingeagle on August 4, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    Giving a player an extended run is not such a bad thing. What is worrying is there seems to be no plan, at least from what we see from outside. What about Rahane? Does he not merit a look in? Or we just let Sehwag have his fun there? Maybe Gambhir is doing OK and he can sit out a game? If not, why take these guys not in the first 11 to SL? As far as improvements, the concept should be try to do things better. Just because team is winning does not men you keep doing the same. Having said that, Ashwin was probably talking about winning only in Rohit's context and not in the team performance aspect.

  • mathewjohn2176 on August 4, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Posted by Gssmy on (August 04 2012, 01:31 AM GMT),He is performing better than anybody and thats why he is playing for India,unlike you sit and vent your frustration here.He done some hardwork to be playing for india and not to become some armchair critics like you n me..appreciate the cricketers when they win,instead of usual negativity all the time.Indian fans need to grow up first to support their cricket team.God save Indian cricket when they have fans like this.

  • on August 4, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    shut up ashwin chek ur record excpt lanka u havnt bowled well against other teams so dont hide ur weakness while winning u have to prove urself in front of others aussies played u very well do homework against them they are coming india in oct

  • Scube on August 4, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    If you send a guy with no discipline as your spokesman, you can expect such meaningless comments only! He is playing for almost couple of yrs now, but is bloating up by the day with poor fitness! His bowling is somehow holding up in most of the matches, otherwise he'll be another worthless member in the playing 11 with his terrible fielding and atrotious running between the wickets! I sincerely wish that he becomes more disciplined in his fitness regimen and becomes a more all round contributor to the team!

  • AMAZINGFAN on August 4, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    guys stop bashing ashwin.afterall he is the best spinner in india and he is ranked at no.6 in icc rankings.he didn't bowled well in aus so has bhajji.harbhajan's record in aus is far worse than ashwin.also ashwin did well in odi's in england.he was the second highest wicket taker in that series behind grame swann.

  • Iyer on August 4, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    Ashwin is the future of indian cricket. He is the most talented off spinner India has produced in the last 2 decades. He is handling tough questions from media with ease. I think he should be moulded to take the captaincy of Indian cricket in near future. I know all north indians dont like this, but sorry guys it is what it is. Ashwin is here to stay for a long time. Days of harbhajan singh is over. Dont dream about bhaji and write ill about this young Ashwin. His performance is 1000 times better than harbhajan. Ashwin can become a great allrounder, I see Kapil Dev in him.

  • nachami on August 4, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    Ashwin talks the truth. It is appreciable. If we keep picking up on a particular player, am sure, the player would succumb to pressure... Is it what we want? So wait and watch the team performance. If the team is failing, they would correct. In a team game, we should see the team performance. Not all the eleven can contribute every match. One or two might fail and the others will make up rather back up. Nothing wrong in giving a run for Rohit instead of writing him off totally. After all, Rohit has done so much in Domestic and it is only fair that he gets some chances before he is condemned. Don't be harsh on Ashwin for speaking truth and his heart.

  • on August 4, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    hello indian zen how you are saying aswing is better then bhajji in means, bhajji is a expeerinced test and odi player he got lot of wickets in hands but ashwin is just new to international cricket he couldnt bowl well in australia, he can bowl well only in subcontinent pitches

  • on August 4, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    Gssmy, please tell me who are the better spinners than Aswin in the team, because last time i checked Ashwin was the lead spinner, that means that HE is the best spinner in the team

  • on August 4, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    It is either STUPID or CRUEL or BOTH not to blood in Rahane!

  • on August 4, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    Ashwin's viewpoint is decidedly wrong. Success always serves as the best cover-up for shortcomings. It's only when the team starts losing do they get exposed, as was amply evident in England and Australia. And in any case, even if India is winning, why should they not improve their death bowling? It will only make winning easier. And why should Rohit Sharma not come under the hammer? His place or anyone else's for that matter cannot be justified by the team's success. The onus must always be on individuals to prove their mettle at the highest level irrespective of the team's performance.

  • indianzen on August 4, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    to some people who have commented bad on ashwin a basic questions - who else do you think are the best spinner in india? it would be funny to select one from ojha,mishra,rahul sharma, bajji. definitely it is ashwin who is the best spinner from india.

  • ash93 on August 4, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    guys before talking about ashwin ...please check about his performances ..he is the oly bowler at rank 6 for india ...and don forget that he is bowling 50 % of his overs in batting and bowling powerplays ..he can bat too ..so pls talking about ashwin ..he is doing his job perfectly ..

  • zbaxay on August 4, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    Does it Matter to win a series against "fatigue SL team"..??

  • on August 4, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    Mr. Ashwin, I hope you haven't forgotten 0-8.

  • joseyesu on August 4, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    @Gssmyy-Just because ASHWIN commented,there are so many negative remarks against him. 1 -ODI has 2 wickets (Tharanga, Thirimanne)@4.60.2-ODI has 1 wicket(DIlshan)@3.60.3-ODI(no wicket @5),4-ODI has 2 wicket(Tharanga, Thirimanne)@4.60. And obviously ENG, AUS pitches are for pacers,and only some legends like Murali and Warne has a terrible record there. I don't think anybody leading him in both the countries considering his wickets and economy.

  • getgopi on August 4, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    Soccer games? Seriously, Ashwin, dude. Learn to run swiftly in a straight line first...and not getting run out. You can practice with Gambhir :)

  • Gssmy on August 4, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    Mr. Ashwin,plz stop the nonsence.1st of all u r not fit to be in the team.U r taking the charge of the lead spinner and not picking up wickets (u sld be the wicket taking bowler). U r just a cry baby that makes noise outside the field like this. If u say bowling weakness in the team can be justified by the team win, answer me, how many wins India had this year? What answer u have for Eng and Aus whitewash? 2nd ODI was a proof that the team over depends on Kholi. Y dont u step up n do something instead of defending urself. India won the series because of Kholi, Gambir, Raina n SL poor fielding, n u barely had anything to contribute. I think along with Rohit u sld also be sent home to learn ur lessons. U r the incapable player at the 1st place n learn to achieve through work hard and prove urself before saying anything that only proves u r a moron. Remember there r better spinners in the team than u, n u sld not say that the teams weakness has nothing to do at the moment.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 4, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    As an Indian fan, it's APPALLING to read some of the comments from fellow Indian supporters. Gosh, it's so hard to be an Indian cricketer. How can poor Ashwin satisfy every Indian ? I wonder. There was nothing wrong with what Ashwin said. Wins are more important than anything else. It's better than being a world class bowling team and loss every single game. So I agree 100% with Ashwin. Some Indian fans can never be satisfied. This can only happen in a country like ours. Who cares about such people ?! God bless Team India.

  • Podicheti on August 3, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    @TheGame666able, I totally agree. However, this is not about changing the team. A batsman's consistent failure to score or the bowling unit's inability to stop leaking runs in the slog overs needs to be, at least, acknowledged. These short comings are not condonable just because the team is winning. Questions need to be asked whether or not a team is winning. That is the only way towards improvement.

  • on August 3, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    Totally frustrating! this is the atttitude of the #1 spinner in India? Even though they get hit around for 100 runs by mediocre batsmen they will not do anything to improve as long as they are winning? And winning? What happened in Aus and England? 4-0 !!!!!!! This is the first series they have won in a while that too thanks to Kohli and Gambhir.

    All these bowlers should be kicked out and lets play with 11 batsmen as they are the ones who are making us win games anyways. I dont think part timers like raina, kohli, etc. would be more expensive than ashwin, zaheer and dinda....and then ashwin can be fine with it as India will be winning...

  • US_Indian on August 3, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    I wonder what special issue is with Sharma's- first we had good for nothing players like, Ajay,Rajeev, sanjeev,gopal and then we had Ishant and now Rohit. all these guys were given a long run much more than any other player inspite of all thier failures. I wonder what is the truth behind the surface, why do they get special treatment. Come on get over it, be fair to everyone who is telented, hardworking and who want to give their 110% commitment to the nation and the game. There should be no room for complacency and lethargy, lack of committment, laid back attitude....Seriously there should be an end to all this nonsense if india has to improve.

  • perl57 on August 3, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    We can iron out the inefficiencies kid. If you get it done, then we get better and better at it. Only few do that. Immediately those who come to mind are Sachin, Kohli now, McGrath, Warne, Dhoni, Kumble, Murali not included better he never needed to be better. Exit McGrath, against India Oz were history outside Oz. So instead of saying there is no need to fix bowling at death, try and see how we gave runs. If it was through edges and shots for which there can't be a field, we can ignore but otherwise, look for it. But certainly drop Rohit and make him earn his place again.

  • KuttoorKuttan on August 3, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    Rohit Sharma was a captain element when he scored that 90 against south africa in the 20/20 semifinals. I still think he is good. every body will have bad days. But that is fate. Rohit Cheers..... but you got more chances than anyone. there are people waiting to prove. Cheeteswar Pujara is one of them ...just to name one.

  • ProdigyA on August 3, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Mr Ashwin with this kind of performance you can only beat teams like SL, BD, Pak. If u want to beat teams like SA, Aus, you have to constantly strive for IMPROVEMENT. Have no room for complacency.

  • on August 3, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    Giving chance to out of form Rohit Sharm is ridiculous. Pls give Rahane to prove his ability. Everytime we should play wih our best XI not with our weak links. Tell Rohit to play zonal level match to increase his confidence.

  • on August 3, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    So again India will play with 10 players and a walking wicket..................Pace bowlers can get Rohit at will...........Just ball fast full length at his middle stump and get him bold or lbw SIMPLE coz he cannot touch it with his bat

  • cimrsimg on August 3, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    I agree and disagree with Ashwin. Agreed to not commenting or picking on someone, more specifically Rohit. But don't agree that it doesn't matter as far as team is winning. Team is winning for great form of Kohli and support from Raina, Gambhir & Pathan. At least 2 of them have come good in every win. But we all saw what happened in 2nd ODI. Also, I would say 4th ODI was luck, because M Tiwary indeed proved to a replacement for Rahul Sharma and not extended batting support. So it's good that team is winning, but when series is in pocket, it really doesn't hurt to focus on your weakness and test your bench strength. And don't forget, Sri Lanka has helped a lot in all wins due to miserable fielding. That may not be case always everywhere.

  • on August 3, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    I don't agree with ashwin , team is winning because of 4 main guys Virat kohli, suresh raina, Irphan pathan and gautam gambhir and everyone else need to make improvement. Don't expect virat to hit century in every match or suresh raina to hit 50 in every match. Ashwin needs to improve his bowling. Rahul sharma is always bowling better than ashwin when both of them are playing in the same match.

  • on August 3, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Sensible comments by Ashwin..What he said is 100% correct. Why do we unnecessarily talk about individual performances and bad things..Post mortem can be done later. We are still in the series and also have a 20-20 left.lets focus on this and win.

  • TheGame666able on August 3, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    @mnrusimh I don't think that's what he intended to say.I am no fan of Rohit Sharma but if he has to fail then i guess this is the best time to when India is winning comfortably.People were baying for Kolhi's head when he failed in the first 3 Tests against the Aussies only for him to score a 100 in the final Test which gave him a new found confidence.India in the past has dropped players after a few failures only for them to completely disappear.Don't get me wrong Rohit has played almost 100 ODI's without anything to show for it but people insist on keeping him because he could be a valuable asset like Kolhi and what better time to look past the failures than now.

  • on August 3, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Couple of changes can or should be done. Give rest to sehwag/ Gambhir and play Ajinka. Drop R. Sharma and if conditions are favouring medium pacers then play both Umesh and Dinda thus strengthing the pace bowling if a dry pitch play Rahul Sharma. I think this should be last series for Rohit for a while until he gets his temparamnet in order.

  • dhoni_sachin_fan on August 3, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    get rahane in....rest gambhir for 1 game....give rohit one last chance.

  • Podicheti on August 3, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Such a stupid statement!! So, all he is saying is that there is no need to improve and we can stay oblivious of all the short comings as long as we are winning. This very attitude results in the disasters when facing quality teams. I hope the team management and the selectors are not as blind as this guy.

  • androyuvi on August 3, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    What ashwin told is right. for once lets not talk about individual performance when the team is winning.. individual performances and scores just spoil the sporting mentality of a sportsman, which eventually spoils the team. if one doesnt do well, the other backs him. Hope India finishes 4-1. Looking forward to Indian bowlers' action tomorrow.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 3, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    All the best team India. Lets make it 4-1 and be no:1 again in ODIs.

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  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 3, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    All the best team India. Lets make it 4-1 and be no:1 again in ODIs.

  • androyuvi on August 3, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    What ashwin told is right. for once lets not talk about individual performance when the team is winning.. individual performances and scores just spoil the sporting mentality of a sportsman, which eventually spoils the team. if one doesnt do well, the other backs him. Hope India finishes 4-1. Looking forward to Indian bowlers' action tomorrow.

  • Podicheti on August 3, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Such a stupid statement!! So, all he is saying is that there is no need to improve and we can stay oblivious of all the short comings as long as we are winning. This very attitude results in the disasters when facing quality teams. I hope the team management and the selectors are not as blind as this guy.

  • dhoni_sachin_fan on August 3, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    get rahane in....rest gambhir for 1 game....give rohit one last chance.

  • on August 3, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Couple of changes can or should be done. Give rest to sehwag/ Gambhir and play Ajinka. Drop R. Sharma and if conditions are favouring medium pacers then play both Umesh and Dinda thus strengthing the pace bowling if a dry pitch play Rahul Sharma. I think this should be last series for Rohit for a while until he gets his temparamnet in order.

  • TheGame666able on August 3, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    @mnrusimh I don't think that's what he intended to say.I am no fan of Rohit Sharma but if he has to fail then i guess this is the best time to when India is winning comfortably.People were baying for Kolhi's head when he failed in the first 3 Tests against the Aussies only for him to score a 100 in the final Test which gave him a new found confidence.India in the past has dropped players after a few failures only for them to completely disappear.Don't get me wrong Rohit has played almost 100 ODI's without anything to show for it but people insist on keeping him because he could be a valuable asset like Kolhi and what better time to look past the failures than now.

  • on August 3, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Sensible comments by Ashwin..What he said is 100% correct. Why do we unnecessarily talk about individual performances and bad things..Post mortem can be done later. We are still in the series and also have a 20-20 left.lets focus on this and win.

  • on August 3, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    I don't agree with ashwin , team is winning because of 4 main guys Virat kohli, suresh raina, Irphan pathan and gautam gambhir and everyone else need to make improvement. Don't expect virat to hit century in every match or suresh raina to hit 50 in every match. Ashwin needs to improve his bowling. Rahul sharma is always bowling better than ashwin when both of them are playing in the same match.

  • cimrsimg on August 3, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    I agree and disagree with Ashwin. Agreed to not commenting or picking on someone, more specifically Rohit. But don't agree that it doesn't matter as far as team is winning. Team is winning for great form of Kohli and support from Raina, Gambhir & Pathan. At least 2 of them have come good in every win. But we all saw what happened in 2nd ODI. Also, I would say 4th ODI was luck, because M Tiwary indeed proved to a replacement for Rahul Sharma and not extended batting support. So it's good that team is winning, but when series is in pocket, it really doesn't hurt to focus on your weakness and test your bench strength. And don't forget, Sri Lanka has helped a lot in all wins due to miserable fielding. That may not be case always everywhere.

  • on August 3, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    So again India will play with 10 players and a walking wicket..................Pace bowlers can get Rohit at will...........Just ball fast full length at his middle stump and get him bold or lbw SIMPLE coz he cannot touch it with his bat