Former India captain Gautam Gambhir believes off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin should be a part of India's squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be hosted in England and Wales from 30 May.
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been largely successful with their leg-spin over the last couple of years and have thus cemented their place in the Indian squad – if not the playing XI. However, Gambhir believes the off-spin of Ashwin will have a role to play in the World Cup later this year.
“I think Ashwin is someone who we should always consider because we are looking at conditions in England during that time of the year," he said at a promotional event on Tuesday, January 23. "Wickets could be flat and worn out. So a finger-spinner can be effective with the ball as well.”
I’ve always believed that a quality spinner is a quality spinner – irrespective of whether he is a wrist-spinner or a finger-spinner
Ashwin last played a one-day international in October 2017, when India took on West Indies in North Sound. While the off-spinner remains an integral part of the Indian Test squad, he has not been able to break into their white-ball XI since then.
“Both wrist-spinners (Kuldeep and Chahal) have done well in the last one year," Gambhir added. "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.
“[Nathan Lyon] is probably the best 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."