"Frankly, it made me laugh" - Ravichandran Ashwin hits back at Michael Vaughan's take on Team India underachieving

Ashwin disagreed with Vaughan
Ashwin disagreed with Vaughan's comments especially in Test cricket

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin did not hold back and vehemently disagreed with Michael Vaughan's recent remarks on India being an underachieving side.

Vaughan's comments came during his commentary stint for the Australia-Pakistan Test series after India lost the opening game of their two-Test series against South Africa. Vaughan feels despite boasting incredible resources, India failed to achieve ultimate success when it mattered, especially in ICC events.

However, speaking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin disagreed and pointed to India's tremendous success in the Test format.

"Michael Vaughan made a statement after the first Test that India is an underachieving team," Ashwin said. "Yes, we haven't won ICC trophies for years. We call ourselves the powerhouses of the game. But the Test team has been one of the best travelling teams in the vicinity. We have seen many great results.
"After he said that, so many experts from our own country started questioning if India is an underachieving team. Frankly, it made me laugh."

Ashwin also justified his statement with an example of a role reversal between the first and second Test of the recently concluded South Africa series.

"Picture yourself. Just reverse the situation. SA batted first in this Test after winning the toss. If SA had batted first after winning the toss in Centurion, wasn't there a chance they could have gotten all out by 65? Even India was staring at the barrel at 20/3, thanks to Virat and Shreyas' partnership from there to save us," Ashwin added.

Despite the innings defeat in the first Test, India stormed back in the second game to become the first Asian side to beat South Africa in Cape Town.

After being asked to bowl first, the Rohit Sharma-led side restricted the Proteas to a paltry 55 in the first innings and went on to script a seven-wicket victory.

Yet, India are still searching for an elusive ICC title since their triumph in the 2013 Champions Trophy.

"We criticize and nitpick too much and get into unnecessary details" - Ravichandran Ashwin

Ashwin had a go at the critics of the Indian side.
Ashwin had a go at the critics of the Indian side.

Ravichandran Ashwin feels the critics of the Indian side tended to get into finer details and nitpick that has them oversee several incredible results by the team.

India has been the No.1 ranked side in all three formats for prolonged periods over the past decade, especially in Test cricket.

"So, both cricket and Test cricket are differentiated by fine margins. In a country like India, where we talk cricket in every nook and cranny and consider the sport a religion, I feel we criticise and nitpick too much and get into unnecessary details. I think these are blinding us," Ashwin continued.

He also hailed the Indian side's ability to come back in a series, a quality eradicated by the one-off nature of the World Test Championship (WTC) final.

"What we need to understand is that it is still a sport. The fact is that a quality cricket team with good mental fortitude and mental skills can make a comeback from wherever they are, and this Indian team has time and again proved it. Yes, we lost two WTC finals. I accept it wholeheartedly. But in the case of Test series, a comeback is always possible," Ashwin concluded.

Team India was the only side to qualify for the final in both the WTC cycles but suffered thumping defeats to New Zealand and Australia in the finals.

The side further missed a golden opportunity to break their ICC tournament jinx in the recent ODI World Cup, losing to the Aussies in the final.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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