Former Indian keeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta has identified a series-defining subplot in the ongoing four-match Test series between India and Australia. The ongoing rubber is turning out to be a thriller of a series with Australia winning the first Test comfortably by eight wickets. Deep Dasgupta believes that the battle between Ravichandran Ashwin and Steve Smith will decide the four-match affair.
Contrary to popular beliefs, Australia’s star batsman has found it challenging to get going, managing only two runs in three innings so far. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has claimed his wicket twice so far, including dismissing Smith for a duck in the ongoing second Test in Melbourne. The lack of the former Australian captain’s lack of contribution is immensely hurting the hosts as they haven’t been able to put on compelling batting performances.
Deep Dasgupta mentioned that the battle between Ravi Ashwin and Steve Smith is getting interesting as the latter has dismissed the right-handed batsman twice now. Hence, it’s going to be a crucial sub-plot in the series. The cricketer-turned-commentator reckons that Ashwin has reached into Smith’s head and is aware of his movements.
“This whole Ashwin versus Steve Smith is getting really interesting. Ashwin has got him out twice. Once the outside edge and once the inside edge. Once against the ball which went straight with the arm and the other turned and got the inside edge. Now, this is getting interesting and now the mindgames start. Now Ashwin knows that as far as Steve Smith is concerned, he is thinking both about the inside and the outside edge when he is batting against Ashwin. This is going to be a very very interesting subplot in this whole series, Ashwin vs Steve Smith,” Dasgupta said as quoted by India Today.
It’s Ashwin’s mind vs Steve Smith’s mind: Deep Dasgupta
At the same time, the 43-year old claimed that Steve Smith remains a class player; however, his game is mental. Hence, if a bowler can break through that, they will gain the upper hand. Thus, the series will revolve around the tussle between the minds of Ashwin and Smith.
“As far as Smith is concerned, he is a class act but his game is very mental. Extremely mental. Now, if you can break through that software of his in his head, because he is moving around and you see him change his technique on the go, depending on the bowler and the bowler’s plans. Now if you can hack into that software of his, then a lot of that is sorted for you. And I think this is where the game is played, Ashwin’s mind vs Steve Smith’s mind,” he added.