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Elation turned to despair as Rahul Tripathi smashed Ravichandran Ashwin for a straight six down the ground and confirmed Kolkata Knight Riders’ spot in the final of the IPL 2021 against Chennai Super Kings.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) October 13, 2021
Ashwin, who has been named in India’s T20 World Cup squad, was entrusted with the responsibility of defending seven runs in the last over and he did well for the first four balls, conceding no more than a single, in addition to picking two crucial wickets.
At one point, it seemed like he would seal the deal for his team and help them reach their second consecutive IPL final, but Tripathi’s lusty blow on the penultimate delivery of the final over sent them crashing out of the tournament.
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) October 14, 2021
However, Manjrekar did clarify that in Test cricket, Ashwin is a great asset to have but when it comes to T20 cricket, he wouldn’t ever pick someone like him in his team.
The cricketer-turned-commentator further argued that when a player is going through a lean patch there is still a hope that he would bounce back strongly. But with Ashwin, it wasn’t the case because he has been bowling in this same template for several years now.
© Twitter IPL
“We have spent far too much talking about Ashwin. Ashwin, the T20 bowler, is not a great force in any team. And if you want Ashwin to change, I don’t think that’s going to happen because he’s been like this for the last five-seven years. I can understand us dwelling on Ashwin in Test matches where he’s fantastic. Him not playing a single Test match in England was a travesty. But to spend so much time on Ashwin when it comes to IPL and T20 cricket,” Manjrekar said on ESPNCricinfo.
“I think he has shown us in the last five years that he’s bowled exactly the same and I would never have somebody like Ashwin in my team because if I got turning pitches, I would expect people like Varun Chakravarthy or Sunil Narine or [Yuzvendra] Chahal and how they do their job, they get you wickets,” he added.
The carrom ball expert is one of the most loved cricketers on social media and normally, whenever Manjrekar says anything against him, his fans always come out in his defence. However, this time around, a major chunk of fans switched sides and agreed with Manjrekar’s analysis.
They also felt that Ashwin’s performance in the IPL was below-average and while he continues to impress in red-ball cricket, he doesn’t have that spark in him to succeed in the shortest format.
Pehli baar isne kuch sach logical baat kiya
— jay parikh (@jayparikh21) October 14, 2021
Tbh, he said it right.
— Kohlified (@_utxarshh) October 14, 2021
Sahi bola aaj
— Mahesh Patil (@MaheshP91341518) October 14, 2021
For the first time i agree with him.
— Aditya Lamba (@AdityaLamba19) October 14, 2021
Sanju manju speaking some sense finally
— P“ (@KollyfiedGal) October 14, 2021
Gotta agree. Ashwin is a mediocre T20 bowler, amazing test bowler though
— Nope. (@Sufiyan08009357) October 14, 2021
Agree this time.
— Rahul malik (@Rahul_Rohit3) October 14, 2021
Ashwin’s performance for Delhi Capitals this year was not something to write home about as he could only pick seven wickets in 13 games. His performance dipped considerably from last season because playing on the same surfaces last year, the former CSK player had picked up 13 wickets in 15 outings.
However, this year while other spinners enjoyed bowling on the spin-friendly tracks in UAE in the second half of the competition, Ashwin couldn’t make most of the conditions on offer.
Rather than relying on his stock off-spinning delivery, Ashwin bowled too many variations and it hampered his line and length so much so that he became the least threatening bowler in his side, despite being the most experienced.
Washington Sundar’s injury opened a window of opportunity for the 35-year-old spinner as he earned a place in India’s limited-overs squad for the first time since 2016. However, given how he has performed in the year, it’s highly unlikely that he will feature in India’s Playing XI and he has no else but himself to blame.