Former opener Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday backed Ravichandran Ashwin’s return to the ODI squad ahead of the World Cup, saying a finger-spinner like him could be as effective as a wrist-spinner in English conditions.
Ashwin last played for India in coloured clothing in July 2017. Wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have since then become frontline spinners for India in limited overs format.
While Ravendra Jadeja has managed to make a comeback in the shorter formats, Ashwin has not.
“Both wrist-spinners (Kuldeep and Chahal) have done well in the last one year. But I still feel that Ashwin is somebody we should look at. I’ve always believed that a quality spinner is a quality spinner – irrespective of whether he is a wrist-spinner or a finger-spinner,” said Gambhir at a promotional event.
Gambhir cited the example of premier Australia tweaker Nathan Lyon, who recently made an ODI comeback following his stellar performances in the longest format.
“He (Lyon) is probably the best off-spinner in the world and he’s a finger-spinner. I feel that we should not differentiate because there’s a wrist-spinner and so there’s no space for a finger-spinner.
“I think R Ashwin is someone who we should always consider because we are looking at conditions in England during that time of the year. Wickets could be flat and worn out. So a finger-spinner can be effective with the ball as well,” said Gambhir.
Commenting on opener Shikhar Dhawan, who was not amongst the runs in the ODI series against Australia, Gambhir said the southpaw should have played first-class cricket since he was not part of the Test series Down Under.
“I am a little disappointed because some of the guys should have played first-class cricket. Being away from Test cricket should have actually pushed them to play first-class cricket.
“Whoever was selected to play (only) white-ball cricket, because it is a World Cup year, I think it should have pushed all these guys like MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu – all those who went to Australia – to play first-class cricket,” he added.