ashwin

Days after former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly backed Ravichandran Ashwin stating that the off spinner deserves more opportunities overseas, former Australian international Michael Hussey echoed similar sentiments saying Ashwin should not be the player making way for wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav for India in the 1st Test against England at Edgbaston.

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“Personally, I don’t think Kuldeep should play at the expense of R Ashwin,” Hussey told The Times of India on the sidelines of TNPL. “I think Ashwin deserves his place in the team as he has been a brilliant Test match bowler for a long period of time. He has over 300 Test wickets plus England have many left-handers and Ashwin can play a big role”.

With Kuldeep continuing his impressive form in the limited-over format in England, calls of his inclusion in the 1st Test starting August 1 at Edgbaston has picked up steam, but Hussey feels Kuldeep has enough time to keep learn just being in the suad for now.

“Kuldeep is a fantastic bowler and has done well. There is still plenty of time for Kuldeep as he is young. Let him sort of keep learning along the way but if there is an injury or opportunity, then I am sure he will do a good job for India,”added the 43-year-old.

While Ashwin’s home record speaks for itself with 225 wickets in 36 matches at an average of 22.79, his away record (barring Sri Lanka) is nothing to write home about. In 15 matches played in Australia, England, South Africa and West Indies he has managed 48 wickets at an average of 40.97.

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In the two Tests that Kuldeep has played (in India and in Sri Lanka), he has managed nine wickets including a 4 for 68 on debut at Dharamsala in an eight-wicket win over Australia.

Earlier, Ganguly, in a video conversation with cricbuzz.com, said Ashwin still has a place in the side. “You can’t let Ashwin fade away so quickly, because 300 wickets is not a matter of joke,” said  the 46-year-old, adding, “Ashwin has a place in the side. He will reinvent himself because he feels challenged, he knows Kuldeep is up for his Test spot; you saw the leg spin in the IPL, he will get better and he deserves a lot more opportunities.”