ICC Champions Trophy 2017: R Ashwin not getting game time shows depth of Indian bowling, says Ajit Agarkar

PTI, Jun, 09 2017

Mumbai: Former pacer Ajit Agarkar says someone like Ravichandran Ashwin not making it to the Indian playing eleven in the ongoing Champions Trophy, speaks volumes about how well the bowling has been for the defending champions.

"At the start of the tournament some of the batters were not in a great form, but once the tournament started all the batsmen are in good form and bowlers are doing well. All the five bowlers are in good form. A guy like (Ravichandra) Ashiwn not making the eleven tells you how well the bowling unit is doing," Agarkar, who is an 'ESPNcricinfo Match Day' expert panelist, told PTI in an interaction.

India's Ravichandran Ashwin in the nets during a practice session ahead of their ICC Champions Trophy Group B match against Pakistan at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Thursday, June 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ravichandran Ashwin in the nets during a practice session in Birmingham. AP

India suffered defeat at the hands of a gutsy Sri Lanka, who chased down a massive 321-run target but Agarkar believes that the Virat Kohli led side are still favourites to lift the Champions Trophy.

In their first game, India had hammered arch rivals Pakistan and now play South Africa on Sunday, in a virtual quarter-final.

Ashiwn, a seasoned offie did not make it to the playing eleven in both the games.

"They (India) are one of the favourites because of the form the players have shown," said Agarkar, who grabbed 288 wickets 191 in ODIs.

The former speedster also strongly believes that this is the best bowling attack in recent times, which has variety.

"As a combined attack, one of the best attacks we (India) had for a while. Even the ball has not swung in England, you got (Jasprit) Bumrah, Umesh (Yadav), variety is there, which helps the team always. Quite a complete attack. Not just balance, but there is variety, which makes captain's life easier," he added.

According to the former Mumbai pacer, form of both openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma is pleasing.

"Shikar's form is very encouraging, but Rohit who did not have much cricket in the last six months due to injury, his form is biggest plus for India, because coming into the tournament, probably he didn't have enough runs that he would have liked but both the games (in which) he has batted, he looked comfortable," said the former pacer.

On the India-South Africa clash, he said the game will be "tough".

"They (South Africa) are the number one side (in ODI) and had a bad game against Pakistan, so it will be a tough game. They have not won an ICC tournament before in-spite of having such a good game. It will be a tough game for India. They will have to play well. South Africa like India is a balanced team and on the day they play well, they are difficult to beat," he added.

Published Date: Jun 09, 2017 | Updated Date: Jun 09, 2017



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4717 115
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115