Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has hit back at former England captain Michael Vaughan's remark of labelling Team India as an "underachieving side", saying such a comment 'made him laugh' considering how well India have done in world cricket, especially in the Test format.
Vaughan had made the comment during a panel discussion on FOX Cricket during the Australia vs Pakistan Test series in response to a question from former Australia batter Mark Waugh: "They haven't won much in recent times. I think they are (an underachieving side). They don't win anything. When was the last time they won something? With all the talent they have, all the skill-set (they should have achieved more."
However, speaking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin issued a fiery response 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. 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 traveling teams in the vicinity. We have seen many great results," Ashwin said.
"After he said that, so many experts from our own country started questioning if India is an underachieving team. Frankly, it made me laugh. 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."
The 37-year-old off-spinner believes that critics of the Indian team often focus on minor details and nitpick, causing them to overlook the numerous remarkable results achieved by the team.
"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," the spinner continued.
"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," he concluded.
(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)