India enjoyed a good run under Shastri’s leadership from 2017 till 2021. The Indian test team rose to World no.1 rankings from the no.6 position and much of India’s dominance, especially in the home series was credited to Ravi Chandran Ashwin’s brilliant spells. When asked whether Ashwin is a no.1 spinner for India to have in the overseas condition, here is what Shastri replied.
“There is a lot of time. He is a world-class bowler. India does not have too many away test series. A lot of test cricket is to be played in India (in the coming months). Only 1 test to be played outside (in England). There is no away tours for the next two years. Ask me this question after two years. Let’s see till then.”
There were a lot of talks about Ashwin’s exclusion in the overseas test series against England last year. Eyebrows were raised when Ashwin was not included in the playing eleven even when the pitch appeared spin-friendly in the fourth test match following which there were speculations about a rift between Kohli and the off-spinner.
Ashwin managed to pick up only 3 wickets in this year’s SA test series however he contributed heavily with the bat when the team was in a dire situation on a no. of occasions. Sanjay Manajrekar during his conversation with Cricinfo stated that Ashwin does not enjoy a dominant performance in overseas conditions as he does in the home series.