England, India, Ravichandran Ashwin Duke Ball, Worcestershire
Learnt how to use Duke ball in Worcestershire, says Ravichandran Ashwin. Getty Images

Team India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin came into the Test side after a lot of speculations, but his stint in the first Test at Edgbaston against England has shut all the debates.

Meanwhile, there was a ranging debate with his place in the first XI with the emergence of Kuldeep Yadav. But Virat Kohli chose to stick with Ravichandran Ashwin, and it paid off. Ashwin proved he has developed into a bowler where he can be successful in any part of the world.

With the England batting line-up dominated by left-handers, Ashwin banked on the classical off-spinning delivery to make life difficult for the likes of Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Ben Stokes and Dawid Malan, among others.

However, the most striking delivery was the one with which he dismissed Cook.

“It was the same delivery,” Ravichandran Ashwin said.

Ravichandran Ashwin, England Vs India 2018 1st Test, Edgbaston
Overall, Ravichandran Ashwin claimed seven wickets in the Edgbaston Test. Credits: Getty Images.

Ashwin’s performance in the first Test against England, where he finished with seven wickets, was the result of a lot of hard work. He had played County cricket for Worcestershire last year, and that worked for him going into the Test series.

Personally, there were quite a few learnings from my stint (with Worcestershire) last year here. It was not just in terms of pure skill, but also the game reading here and players go about their business in terms of pacing out their innings and how much the Duke ball does in the first 40 overs. Those are the learnings I had and as a spinner, I feel the ball is definitely different to Kookaburra and SG,” Ravichandran Ashwin added.

Virat Kohli, Steven Smith, ICC Test Rankings, Sunil Gavaskar, Seventh Indian
Virat Kohli was the lone warrior for India. Credit: AP

India aims to bounce back against England

Meanwhile, following their loss at Edgbaston, India will look to bounce back in the second Test against England. The batsmen need to take the onus on themselves and provide support to Indian skipper Virat Kohli.

Kohli waged a lone war scoring 200 runs including his debut hundred in England in the first innings. However, the bowlers put in a great effort with Ravichandran Ashwin bagging seven wickets in the match.

India will be desperate to put in a much-improved effort and level terms in the five-match Test series.

Ankush Das

I am an accountant by qualification, my parents thought their obedient son would study further to become a CA, but I had other things in mind. An ardent Cricket fan is following his passion and making a living watching and working around his favorite sport.