Former Indian cricketers VVS Laxman and Aakash Chopra have heaped high praise on champion off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the manner in which he has bowled during the course of the current Test season this winter.
Ashwin is undeniably at the peak of his powers at the moment. The champion off-spinner had a brilliant tour Down Under where he not only exorcised his past demons but also outbowled his counterpart in Nathan Lyon.
And, now, in the ongoing series against England on home soil, the champion cricketer has been repeating the same script of domination as he has done throughout his career while playing in his den.
When asked about what makes Ashwin so special, VVS Laxman stated that the off-spinner continues to reinvent himself and during this season, he has come up with precise plans, which he has executed with absolute perfection.
“I think he is a very intelligent person. When you are playing at the highest level, it is not only about the skill but it is about your preparation, it is about your planning, and execution is so critical. He works out what are the weaknesses of the batsmen, he plans those dismissals and that is why I think he is reinventing himself,” said VVS Laxman on Star Sports.
Laxman also added that Ravichandran Ashwin is always at the top of his game when he comes against a champion batsman, something that we saw to the hilt during the Australian tour where he had Steve Smith on toast.
“We saw recently in the Australia series how he troubled someone as great as Steve Smith and that’s another thing which makes Ashwin or any champion player special is he always wants to be the best and compete against the best,” added Laxman.
‘He has been absolutely phenomenal with the craft he has displayed’- Aakash Chopra on Ravichandran Ashwin
During the third Test in Ahmedabad, Ravichandran Ashwin became the second fastest and just the fourth Indian bowler after Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, and Harbhajan Singh to claim 400 wickets.
Terming Ashwin as a ‘rockstar’, Aakash Chopra hailed the off-spinner for his stellar achievement besides adding that Tamil Nadu cricketer will go down as one of India’s greatest-ever match-winner.
“Phenomenal, seventy-seven Test matches for 400 Test wickets. Let the naysayers be, the fact is that when the pitch is dished out there are four or five spinners playing on the very same surface. One guy is picking more wickets than anybody else and it is not that you are playing only on rank turners,” said Aakash Chopra.
“He has been absolutely phenomenal with the craft he has displayed over a period of time and as he is growing as a bowler, he is picking up a lot of wickets overseas. So, that question mark is also getting answered quite nicely and I feel he is an absolute rockstar, he is one of the biggest match-winners that India has ever produced, of course Anil Kumble will remain at No.1 still,” concluded Chopra.
Speaking of his numbers in the ongoing Test series, Ashwin has claimed 24 wickets in three Tests at an average of 15.71 besides scoring 176 runs in 5 innings including a hundred at an average of 35.20.