Ravi Shastri has reacted to the comments Ashwin made that how Shastri praising Kuldeep Yadav in Australia absolutely crushed him.
Kuldeep Yadav was preferred over Ravi Ashwin and the chinaman responded by repaid the faith laid on him by picking up five wickets in the first innings. The match ended in a draw after rain interrupted the play.
Recently, Ravichandran Ashwin in an interview with ESPNcricinfo, revealed that he felt crushed when Ravi Shastri the then Indian coach preferred Kuldeep Yadav in the 2019 Sydney Test against Australia.
The off spinner added that he was disappointed when Shastri said publicly that Kuldeep is the first-choice spinner in overseas conditions.
Ashwin feels that he wasn’t backed by the team but he was also happy about the success of his teammate Kuldeep Yadav.
“… I felt crushed. Absolutely crushed. We all talk about how important it is to enjoy your team-mates’ success. And I was happy for Kuldeep. I have not been able to get a five-for but he has a five-for in Australia. I know how big it is. Even when I have bowled well [at other times], I haven’t ended up with a five-for. So, I am genuinely happy for him. And it’s an extremely happy occasion, to win in Australia,” Ashwin said.
“But if I have to come and partake in his happiness, and the success of the team, I must feel like I belong there. If I feel like I am being thrown under the bus, how am I supposed to get up and come for a party to enjoy the team’s or team-mate’s success? I went back to my room and then I spoke to my wife. And my children were there. So, we were able to, you know, shrug it off, and I still made it to the party, because, end of the day, we had won a massive series,” he added.
But former cricketer Ravi Shastri who has coached Team India for about five years has no regrets over what he said earlier. He feels that the Tamil Nadu based off spinner improved his game after being ignored.
“Ashwin did not play the Test in Sydney and Kuldeep bowled well. So, it’s fair I give Kuldeep a chance. If that hurt Ashwin, I am very happy. It made him do something different. My job is not to butter everyone’s toast. My job is to state facts without agenda,” Ravi Shastri said.
“If your coach challenges you, what will you do? Go home crying and say I won’t come back. I as a player would take it as a challenge, to prove the coach wrong.”
“If my statement on Kuldeep hurt Ashwin, I am glad I made that statement. It made him do something different.”
“The way Ashwin bowled in 2019 and the way he has bowled in 2021 is chalk and cheese. About throwing Ashwin under the bus, he need not worry because I had told the bus driver to stop 2-3 feet short. The message to Ashwin in 2018 was that he had to be fit. He has worked on that and look how’s bowling now. He’s world-class,” Shastri added.
Shastri stood by his words and said he is glad he made those comments. He feels that it motivated the 34-year-old to do something and that’s why he is still present in the Indian team whereas Kuldeep Yadav has lost the spot.