‘This country has…’: 'Disappointed' Gautam Gambhir reveals what India missed out on in R Ashwin's career | Crickit
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‘This country has…’: 'Disappointed' Gautam Gambhir reveals what India missed out on in R Ashwin's career

May 21, 2024 07:02 AM IST

Gautam Gambhir congratulated Ravichandran Ashwin on his incredible achievements but said that there was a part of his skill that India has missed out on

Gautam Gambhir shares an old bond with Ravichandran Ashwin that may have slipped out of the minds of many Indian fans - the batter was the spin great's captain in the latter's first full ODI series in India colours. Ashwin made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Harare on June 5, 2010 under the captaincy of Suresh Raina. His next ODI appearance came against Australia in Visakhapatnam with India's regular skipper MS Dhoni leading.

Gambhir was India's captain in the first full ODI series of Ashwin's career.
Gambhir was India's captain in the first full ODI series of Ashwin's career.

Ashwin became a regular in an ODI series for India for the first time in a five-match rubber against New Zealand in November and December 2010. It was Gambhir who had captained the team in that series. Gambhir eventually retired from cricket in March 2019 and Ashwin has established himself as one of the greatest bowlers of all time, particularly in Test cricket. Ashwin made his 100th appearance for India in red-ball cricket during their five-match Test series against England earlier this year. He also became just the second Indian bowler to take over 500 Test wickets in the series.

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In a chat on a podcast hosted by spin great himself, Gambhir congratulated Ashwin on his achievements but also expressed disappointment at the fact that India hasn't been able to make good use of his potential with the bat. “I have to congratulate you on so many things. Your 100th Test match, 500 wickets, but at the same time, a bit disappointed because this country hasn't seen the potential you had with the bat, especially in white ball cricket,” said Gambhir.

‘That is one thing this country has missed out on’

“I don't know where I had said it a long time back that you should be batting for India at No.5 or No.6, or maybe even No.4. That is one thing which this country has missed out on. They have seen your potential with the ball but probably haven't seen the potential you had with the bat,” he said. Ashwin joked that maybe he wasn't good enough with the bat in his younger days and has got better with time.

Ashwin's abilities with the bat has been seen the most in Test cricket, in which he has five centuries to go with his 36 five-wicket hauls. Ashwin has scored 3309 Test runs at an average of 26.26 and has 14 half-centuries as well. This hasn't been the case in limited overs cricket though. Ashwin has 707 runs in 116 ODIs at an average of 16.44 with just one half-century. In T20Is, Ashwin has scored 184 runs at a strike rate of 114.99 and average of 26.28 in 65 matches. However, the 37-year-old has often been promoted up the order by the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL this season.

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