Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has opined that the England team needs to find a way to counter the threat of Ravichandran Ashwin if they want to compete in the ongoing second Test match against India in Chennai.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the star of the Indian bowling unit, as he picked up his 29th five-wicket haul as England capitulated to 134 runs, in response to India’s first innings score of 329 runs. While Rohit Sharma made 161, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant also hit half-centuries; but for England, wicketkeeper Ben Foakes made 42*, as the visitors conceded a lead of 195 runs, which swelled to 249 by the end of day 2.
India ended day 2 on 54/1 with Rohit Sharma unbeaten on 25, while Shubman Gill fell to Jack Leach for 14 runs.
Ravichandran Ashwin Has Enough Variations To Make Him Deadly Against Both Right-Handers And Left-Handers: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir lauded the Tamil Nadu off-spinner for his experience and variations after his exploits in Chennai on day two and mentioned that he has become so consistent that fans expect him to pick a fifer whenever he bowls.
“Ashwin again, world-class and very accurate, didn’t give anything away. It is expected of him because now people expect him to take fifers on a very regular basis. A lot of finger spinners don’t bowl well with the new ball. They want a little bit old ball which can actually grip and stuff, but Ravichandran Ashwin; the kind of variation he has got, he undercuts the ball, he can take the ball away from you and he’s brilliant against the left-handers as well as the right-handers,” said Gambhir on Star Sports.
England Need A Viable Plan To Counter Ravichandran Ashwin If They Want To Compete In This Match: Gautam Gambhir
The former India opener, who played his last Test match against England in 2016, said that if the visitors want to stay competitive in this Test match, they need to find out a way to neutralize the threat of Ravichandran Ashwin, who had picked 6/61 in the first Test as well.
“We’ve always expected that once he comes back from Australia in his own conditions, he’s gonna even more dangerous. He’s got two fifers in the first two matches and with five innings to go, it will be difficult for England now. It depends how they are going to survive against Ashwin because if they have to compete in this series going forward, it has to be how they deal with Ashwin,” said Gambhir.
Meanwhile, after taking his 29th five-wicket haul in Tests, Ravi Ashwin drew level with Australian bowling great Glenn McGrath’s record of 29 fifers.