The player-coach (or ex-coach in this case) arguments in Team India continue and R Ashwin and Ravi Shastri get involved in a verbal tiff over a comment made by the latter in 2019.

India’s tour of Australia in 2019 was historic as it was the first time the team had won a Test series Down Under

However, everything was not as rosy as it seemed back then. Praising Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Shastri had said that he is India’s “frontline number one overseas spinner” while adding, “There is a time for everyone”, which was a clear comment on Ashwin’s performance.

Zee News

Ashwin chose to remain silent at the time but in a recent interview given to ESPN (a must-read), confessed that he had “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 (sic).
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He added that he was very happy for Kuldeep, who earned a five-for, something Ashwin had not been able to do in Australia but said that to celebrate a teammate’s success, one has to feel like they belong in it. He did not feel that way, because of the chatter around his performance.

If I feel like I am being thrown under the bus, how am I supposed to get up and come for a party to enjoy the team’s or team-mate’s success? I went back to my room and then I spoke to my wife. And my children were there. So, we were able to, you know, shrug it off, and I still made it to the party, because, end of the day, we had won a massive series.

This is something that Ravi Shastri did not allow to slide. In an interview given to Indian Express e.Adda, he addressed the issue and said that his “job is not to butter everyone’s toast but to state facts”.

If that hurt Ashwin, I am very happy. It made him do something different… About throwing Ashwin under the bus, he need not worry because I had told the bus driver to stop 2-3 feet short. The message to Ashwin in 2018 was that he had to be fit. He has worked on that and look how’s bowling now. He’s world-class.

That’s the whole development on the story for now. It remains to be seen if Ashwin will respond to Shastri’s statement.