Former England batsman, Mark Butcher is vocal in criticizing Ravichandran Ashwin’s fitness and fielding efforts after the off-spinner dropped the catch – rather a difficult one – of Ben Stokes on Day 2 of the ongoing Test match between India and England in Chennai.
In the 110th over of the innings, as England kept on piling runs, Stokes decided to bat with alacrity. On the third ball of the over, Stokes, batting on 31, smashed the ball back to the bowler, Ashwin, for a return catch.
However, since it was drilled back with immense power – and Ben Stokes is a muscular man – there was very little time for Ashwin to react as he could only bring out his right hand out. The ball lobbed out of his hand and the batsman got a single.
Stokes was given another reprieve, again a highly difficult chance, as Cheteshwar Pujara lept with one hand to catch a ball which was muscled by the left-hander and was flying towards the mid-wicket boundary.
Ashwin looks like he’s 20 years older: Mark Butcher
Mark Butcher exclaims “Catch those” when asked what Ashwin needs to do against Stokes. He reckons that while Ashwin was clever with his bowling, foxing the southpaw a couple of times, the bowler needed to take that catch as Stokes hardly gives any.
“That’s the issue. He managed to beat Stokes a couple of times off the flat part of the wicket. Didn’t need the rough for that but you’re going to need a little more assistance to put a batsman like Ben Stokes under pressure. When he does give you a chance, you’re going to have to take it,” Mark Butcher told Star Sports.
Mark Butcher is also unimpressed with R Ashwin’s physique and his movements in the field – he says that the off-spinner looks 20 years more of his actual age. As Stokes got out for 82 runs
“Ashwin’s not the best mover in the Indian side. He always looks to me like he’s 20 years older than he is really is sometimes out there on the field. And he’s bowled a lot of overs, he’s looking a little bit tired and that’s the chance you desperately want to hang on to,” Butcher added.
England sits in the driver’s seat at stumps on Day 2 at the score of 555/8 after Joe Root brought up his 5th double hundred – second in 3 Tests – and was supported by fifties from Dom Sibley and Ben Stokes.