Kuldeep had bagged a five-wicket haul in the Sydney Test in 2019 and Shastri had termed the leg spinner as “India’s No. 1 overseas spinner”. While the game ended in a draw, India won the series Down Under.
Ashwin later expressed his disappointment on Shastri’s comment and said that he felt ‘crushed’.
“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. We all talk about how important it is to enjoy your team-mates’ success,” ESPNcricinfo had quoted Ashwin as saying.
Meanwhile talking to ANI, Sarandeep Singh said, “Ashwin took the comment in a wrong way. I was also there on the tour with Team India about which Shastri is talking. He meant to say that Kuldeep is a better bowler for us on overseas tour because his bowling style is different and Ashwin took this in another way and yes Shastri is right, his job is not to butter everyone toast.”
“Ashwin is a great bowler who has produced good bowling style in the African conditions. Also, he can be a game-changer for us. I don’t think this will be his last tour as he has got a lot to perform,” he added.
Regarding Virat Kohli, Sarandeep Singh feels that he will be playing with a free mind in the Test series against South Africa.
“He is mentally fit and I feel that he is going to play with a free mind. Nothing related to the captaincy controversy will affect his game and he will bat exactly like the way he used to do earlier. We can hope for a century from him as this time he has a good, balanced team,” said Sarandeep Singh.
The Test series between India and South Africa will form part of the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. The updated schedule is as follows: First Test will take place from December 26-30 at the SuperSport Park, Centurion; Second Test will take place from January 3-7, 2022, at the Wanderers, Johannesburg; Third Test will take place from January 11-15, 2022, at the Newlands, Cape Town.