Former Indian leg-spinner Piyush Chawla reckons Ravichandran Ashwin is well ahead of Washington Sundar in terms of bowling. Both Ashwin and Sundar have been added to India’s squad for the three-match ODI series against Australia ahead of the all-important World Cup.
Ashwin has been kept in the World Cup scheme of things after Axar Patel suffered a quadriceps injury in the Asia Cup. The veteran off-spinner has all the experience under his belt and he has scalped 151 wickets in 113 ODI matches at an average of 33.5 and an economy rate of 4.94.
Ashwin has also played 94 Test matches and he has always been lethal while bowling in the Indian conditions.
On the other hand, Washington Sundar has taken 16 wickets in 17 ODI matches and he is known to bowl in the Powerplay overs in the limited-overs format.
Piyush Chawla said on ESPN Cricinfo, “When we missed Axar Patel due to injury (Asia Cup final), they must have thought we need a batting all-rounder to give proper batting which is the reason they called Washington Sundar. Just from bowling point of view, we all know the calibre of bowler Ashwin is, be it white or red ball. He is a great bowler, great thinker of the game. So, in terms of bowling, he is ahead of Washington Sundar.”
Chawla reckons Ashwin and Sundar’s selection should be done on the basis of their bowling performance rather than their batting contributions.
“Will look at it purely from a bowling point of view because we have batting till No. 8. So if eight batsmen can’t do the job, can’t expect No. 9 to do the job. So purely the bowling should be looked at and it depends on how both of them bowl in this series.”
In fact, Ashwin had last played an ODI back in January 2022 against South Africa and thus lack game time in the recent past.
“We know Ashwin has not played much ODI cricket in the last few years, so it’s very important to see how he turns up and bowls in this series. If he bowls really well, they’ll go with him,” added Piyush Chawla.
India will take on Australia in the first ODI at Mohali on Friday.