ashwi

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly backed spinner Ravichandran Ashwin stating that he deserves a ‘lot more opportunities’ to prove his worth overseas.

ALSO READ: Beating India in 2012 on par with Ashes wins for James Anderson

With the talks ahead of the 1st India vs England Test revolving around the inclusion of Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav at the expense of either Ashiwn or Ravindra Jadeja, Ganguly, in a video conversation with cricbuzz.com, said Ashwin still has a place in the side.

ALSO READ: Easier to bat at No.4: Cheteshwar Pujara

“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.”

ALSO READ: Tendulkar backs Kuldeep for Test

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.

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 how well would he be able to adjust to the longer format is something to watch out for. In the two Tests the UP bowler 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.

Commenting about the team’s chances in the series, Ganguly sounded optimistic. I”really feel this team is going to do something special (in England),” added Ganguly.