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Updated on: Thursday, December 23, 2021, 09:57 PM IST

'If my statement on Kuldeep hurt Ashwin, I am glad I said that,' says former India coach Ravi Shastri

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri | File Photo

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri | File Photo

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India off-spinner R Ashwin had said recently that he felt “absolutely crushed” when Shastri stated after the Sydney Test in January 2019 that Kuldeep Yadav was India’s No.1 overseas spinner.

Shastri responded that he was happy if his statement had been able to goad Ashwin into becoming fitter.

“The way Ashwin bowled in 2019 and the way he has bowled in 2021 is chalk and cheese,” Shastri said at The Indian Express e.Adda.

“If my statement on Kuldeep hurt Ashwin, I am glad I made that statement. It made him do something different. The message to Ashwin in 2018 was that he had to be fit. He has worked on that and look how he is bowling now. He’s world-class.”

Ashwin had spoken about feeling like being thrown under the bus when Shastri had sidetracked him.

"I hold Ravi bhai in high esteem. We all do. And I understand we all can say things and then retract them. In that moment, though, I felt crushed. Absolutely crushed," Ashwin had said.

"We all talk about how important it is to enjoy your team-mates' success. And I was happy for Kuldeep. I have not been able to get a five-for but he has a five-for in Australia. I know how big it is. Even when I have bowled well (at other times), I haven't ended up with a five-for. So I am genuinely happy for him. And it's an extremely happy occasion, to win in Australia.

"But if I have to come and partake in his happiness, and the success of the team, I must feel like I belong there. If I feel like I am being thrown under the bus, how am I supposed to get up and come for a party to enjoy the team's or team-mate's success?"

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Published on: Thursday, December 23, 2021, 09:57 PM IST
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