Former India wicket-keeper, Kiran More feels that Ravichandran Ashwin can be spoken as highly as the likes of Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri when it comes to all-rounders. More’s comments come as a consequence of Ashwin’s Man of the Match all-round performance against England in Chennai as India level the series.
R Ashwin took a fifer, his 29th of the career, in England’s first innings and then notched up his 5th Test century in India’s second innings on a difficult batting surface. Kiran More, who played 49 Tests and 94 ODIs for India, is of no doubt that R Ashwin is in the same bracket as two former legendary Indian all-rounders.
“He has got 5 hundreds now. He is like a matured wine. When somebody scores 5 hundreds he is an all-rounder and a proper batsman. Nobody gets hundreds like these. That’s fantastic. I don’t think he is underestimating himself. Always thought that Ashwin is a better batsman. He has got some super shots – he cuts well, he pulls well. He has always batted well. For me, he is a great asset for the Indian team,” Kiran More told Sportskeeda.
“Now, Ashwin can be compared with Kapil Dev or Ravi Shastri who were the two all-rounders who got lots of hundreds for India. So for me, Ashwin is in that category. I think Ashwin is one of the [best] all-rounders in the world cricket,” he added.
Looking at the number, while Ashwin has a lesser batting average – 28.24 – as compared to Kapil Dev’s 31.05 and Shastri’s 35.79, the Tamil Nadu off-spinner has a much better bowling average of 25.21 to 29.65 of Kapil Dev and 40.96 of Shastri. Ashwin is currently ranked 5th in ICC all-rounder rankings.
Ashwin’s more focus on bowling led to his low scores with the bat: Kiran More
The 58-year-old opines that R Ashwin in the past few years has more focussed on his bowling – which is his primary job – than his batting and hence his numbers had been underwhelming with the bat. But since the Sydney Test – where he defied the Australian bowlers for 128 balls with back pain to save the match – he has gained immense confidence in his batting.
“While playing Test cricket for a long time, there is always a phase in which you struggle, sometimes you focus more on your bowling, sometimes you focus more on your batting, so that must have happened with him.
“He is a smart cricketer, he knows what he is doing. He has come out with a lot of variations so he must have worked on his bowling more. Ashwin is someone who always experiments – the leg-spin, doosra, the carrom ball – but he has never lost his line and length, that’s the beauty of him,” Kiran More further added.