Pressure piles up on Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of West Indies tour

Ravichandran Ashwin, West Indies vs India, Champions Trophy, Virat Kohli

India's Ravichandran Ashwin (R) dives for a ball during a nets practice session (Photo: AFP)

India are scheduled to play five ODIs and one-off T20I in West Indies.

Once a star off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin is currently vying to uphold his stardom in limited-over cricket. Ahead of West Indies tour, starting on Friday, Ashwin would try to regain good form after a nightmarish outing at the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy.

India are scheduled to play five ODIs and one-off T20I in West Indies, with the tour starting at Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain on Friday.

The 30-year-old spinner from Tamil Nadu was put on bench in India's first two matches of the Champions Trophy. After returning on turf in the third match against South Africa, Ashwin managed to bag a single wicket in Hashim Amla.

However, the following two matches witnessed highly-expensive spells by the offie. Ashwin couldn't claim a single wicket, while conceding 54 and 70 runs against Bangladesh and Pakistan, respectively.

In the Champions Trophy final, which India lost to Pakistan by 180 runs, Ashwin conceded four boundaries and three sixes, besides bowling four wide balls.

Captain Virat Kohli defended his senior-most spinner as PTI quoted him saying: "It is not humanly possible to not concede boundaries and sixes. You have to understand whether you made the batsman hit where you wanted him to hit and take a risk, or you have bowled a bad ball. I think that's the only analysis a person needs to do and nothing more."

Keeping this in perspective, the underdogs West Indies can provide Ashwin a chance to regain his lost confidence.

Ashwin has played 12 international matches in West Indies, having claimed 25 wickets with best figures of 7/83 in a Test match in July last year.

In ODIs, Ashwin requires to better his records on Caribbean pitches. He claimed seven wickets in seven ODIs in West Indies with no much charismatic figures.

India's squad for West Indies tour: Virat Kohli (C), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, Umesh Yadav, Yuvraj Singh

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