K Gowtham was considered as a back-up for Ravichandran Ashwin: Sarandeep Singh

K Gowtham
K Gowtham

Former India selector Sarandeep Singh has revealed that off-spinner K Gowtham was considered as a back-up for Ravichandran Ashwin during his tenure as a selector.

K Gowtham made headlines when he became the most expensive uncapped Indian player at the IPL auction. He was picked up by Chennai Super King for INR 9.25 crore.

Speaking to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, Singh praised K Gowtham’s skills and his consistency. He said:

“If you see his domestic record, he has been performing all the time. He has been picked for India A for the last 2-3 years and has been doing consistently well. In fact, in case Ravichandran Ashwin was to get injured or was unfit, we were looking as K Gowtham as back-up spinner. He was in out minds for ODIs and T20Is as well.”

The 41-year-old, however, conceded that K Gowtham was unlucky during his time as a selector since India had a plethora of spin options then. Singh added:

“With Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal as well as the all-round brilliance of Ravindra Jadeja, we were blessed with excess options. Even Kedar Jadhav was chipping in with the ball and picking up a few wickets. That’s why we couldn’t pick K Gowtham in the Indian team. So he deserves what he has got.”

Don’t understand why franchises released K Gowtham: Sarandeep Singh

The former India off-spinner also expressed surprise at IPL franchises releasing K Gowtham. He was let go by Punjab Kings ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. The 32-year-old was earlier picked for INR 6.2 crore by Rajasthan Royals at the 2018 auction. A baffled Singh said:

“K Gowtham also did very well for Rajasthan Royals earlier. I don’t know why they let him go. He can bat also and bowl also. He was actually pretty good for them. I don’t understand why some franchises release decent players. Last season, he was injured so he couldn’t play many games for Punjab. He deserves this chance.”

K Gowtham is currently a net bowler with the Indian team for the Tests series against England.

Apart from K Gowtham, CSK also bought all-rounder Moeen Ali for INR 7 crore. Describing Ali as a seasoned pro, Singh added:

“He has played for England. Has experience of one-day and T20 cricket. He can offer a lot to CSK. He is a good bowler and a great batsman also. RCB released him because they couldn’t utilize him. But I am sure Mahi (MS Dhoni) will make the best use of him.”

CSK’s other purchases at the IPL auction included Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara, who was a surprise pick at INR 50 lakh.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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