It is time for India to look beyond R Ashwin in ODIs, says Harbhajan Singh

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Ravichandran Ashwin scalped only wicket from two ODIs against South Africa

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It is time for India to look beyond R Ashwin in ODIs, says Harbhajan Singh

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SportsCafe Desk

01/26/2022

After India's embarrassing 0-3 loss in the ODI series against South Africa, Harbhajan Singh has stated that it is time for the national side to look beyond R Ashwin in the 50-over format. Harbhajan further added that the team should bring back the combination of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.

India suffered a harrowing 0-3 defeat against South Africa in the three-match ODI series, and the white-ball series also saw the Men in Blue struggling with the bowling unit. Both pace and spin units of India failed to dominate the South Africa batsmen, and allowed them to notch up big scores throughout the ODI series. 

R Ashwin, who made his come back to ODIs for the first time since 2017, scalped only wicket from the first two ODIs before he was replaced by Jayant Yadav for the third fixture. Whereas, Yuzvendra Chahal also clinched only two wickets from three matches, and failed to trouble the Proteas batsmen in the middle overs.

Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh has stated that Ashwin is a champion bowler, but it is time for India to look beyond the off-spinner in ODIs.

"I think these two guys (Ishant Sharma and Ashwin) have done really well for, whether you talk about Test cricket or ODIs. With all due respect to R Ashwin, I think he is a champion bowler, but in ODI cricket, I feel, it's time India start looking for an option, maybe someone who can take the ball in as well as out," Harbhajan told India Today.

The former Indian spinner further added that India should bring back the combination of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, popularly known as 'KulCha'. Kuldeep and Chahal have played 36 ODIs together and scalped 125 wickets between them during the 2017-2021 period. However, the poor performance of Kuldeep eventually sidelined him from the senior national team.

"Someone like Kuldeep Yadav could be a great option. Why don't we go back to the KulCha combination and see what they can bring to the table? They won games for India. It will be a good thing to go back to them.

Harbhajan also stated that Ashwin and Chahal failed to create opportunities with the ball against the opposition batsmen in the recently concluded ODI series against South Africa.

"R Ashwin and Yuzi Chahal played in the South Africa series. They didn't create too many opportunities with the ball, they were a bit defensive with their approach. There were times when they could have attacked the opposition by putting in another slip or another man catching in," he added

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