'Disappointed, this country has not…': Gautam Gambhir's direct message to R Ashwin

File photo of former Indian cricket team star opener Gautam Gambhir©Twitter

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir considers it disappointing that the nation was never able to witness Ravichandran Ashwin bat high in the order for the Men in Blue in white ball format. On the domestic circuit, Ashwin has made a name for himself as an all-rounder across all formats. However, for India, the veteran spinner primarily played the role of a bowler, changing the course of the game with his craft spells.

Gambhir feels the only thing India missed out on was putting Ashwin, who has played 100 Tests, 116 ODIs and 65 T20Is, in the order and allowing him to showcase his potential with the bat.

“A bit disappointed this country didn't see the potential you had with the bat, especially in white-ball cricket. I remember a long time ago I said you should bat for l “India at number five or six or probably number five or number four. But yes, that's one thing that this country probably missed,” Gambhir said in the latest episode of Ravichandran Ashwin's Kutti Stories.

“They saw your potential with the ball, which you did in Test cricket, but probably didn't see the potential you had with the bat,” he added.

In first-class cricket, Ashwin has 5,221 runs to his name in 156 matches at an average of 28.06. In List A, Ashwin has accumulated 1,346 runs at a strike rate of 77.35.

On the international stage, in 19 T20I innings, Ashwin has 184 runs to his name. In the ODI format, he has 707 runs in 63 innings.

Ashwin had some memorable moments with the bat, but some of them stood out above the rest. In 2011, he hit 103 in Mumbai. West Indies made a mammoth total of 590 runs in the first innings.

With India reduced to 331/6, Ashwin came out in the middle and put on a batting masterclass to bring India back into the match. With Virat Kohli on the other end, Ashwin raised his bat for his maiden ton in 118 balls.

With the ball, Ashwin is well known for his prowess in the art of variation. During India's five-match Test series against England, he made 100 Test appearances and completed 500 Test wickets.

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