Former India batsman, VVS Laxman heaps high praise for Ravichandran Ashwin for the off-spinners emphatic performances with the ball in the first couple of Test matches against Australia in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series.
India has been clinical with the ball throughout the series – dismissing the hosts for 191, 195, and 200 in 3 out of 4 innings – and Ashwin has been the spine of the bowling as he keeps the pressure on after the pacers choke the Aussie top order. The off-spinner has picked up 10 wickets at a superb economy of 2.08.
India won the second Test and made a memorable comeback from the ruins of ’36 all-out’ in Adelaide to level the series in Melbourne. Amongst Indian bowlers, Ashwin bowled most overs in Melbourne- when Umesh Yadav left the field after injuring his calf, he had to bowl more than one-third of India’s overs, and he did it with a great deal of accuracy and consistency.
Ashwin seems to have the measure of Smith at the moment: VVS Laxman
The highlight of the series for the Tamil Nadu spinner has been his battle – which he won convincingly – against Australia’s talisman, Steve Smith. Ashwin has dismissed the former number 1 Test batsman twice, beating him on both the inside and outside edge.
Clearly, Ashwin has evolved his bowling in non-Asian countries in recent years; which is what VVS Laxman in his latest column emphasizes. After years of dominating performances in Asia, but failing to make significant contributions overseas, Ashwin has been on top of his game in the last few series.
“Ravichandran Ashwin seems to have the measure of Smith at the moment and backed up his performance in Adelaide with another lovely display of off-spin in Melbourne. It’s the best I have seen Ashwin bowl overseas, and that’s saying something given the peaks he has scaled,” Laxman wrote in his column on Times of India.
He was terrific in the opening match on the England tour in 2018 and the first match in Australia on the previous tour, but unfortunately picked up injuries to miss the rest of the series. However, the 34-year-old has returned to Australia as a more experienced, learned, and smarter bowler- he knows the lengths to bowl and sets up the batters with varying pace and line.