Anil Kumble Believes Ravichandran Ashwin Is An Asset To Indian Team
Legendary Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble is very happy for Ravichandran Ashwin’s strong return to the Test squad. Kumble feels Ashwin is an asset to the Indian team. The former leg-spinner is also hopeful that Ashwin will continue this superb performance to shut up the critics.
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was the former no.1-ranked Test bowler and all-rounder. The 33-year-old has a rich record in bowling, especially in Test career. At present, Ashwin is the fourth most wicket-taker for India in Test cricket.
However, Ashwin had no secure place in the recent Indian Test squad before the Visakhapatnam Test against South Africa. In fact, it was his first international cricket match in 2019. The 33-year-old has made a great comeback to the national squad after taking eight wickets in the Visakhapatnam Test.
While India dominated in that Test match, Ashwin played a crucial role for the hosts. During South Africa’s first innings, Ashwin had the bowling figures of 46.2-11-145-7. Though the visitors managed to put strong fight against India’s first innings total of 502/7 (decl.), Ashwin became the major reason why India finally managed to gain 71 runs lead at the end of South Africa’s first innings.
Later, in the fourth innings of that game, Ashwin managed another wicket as he had the bowling figures of 20-5-44-1. Finally, India won that game by 203 runs.
During that Test match, Ashwin completed his 350 Test wickets. He also became the joint-fastest bowler to claim 350 wickets in Test career.
I’m certainly happy with what Ravichandran Ashwin has done – Anil Kumble
Former Indian Head Coach Anil Kumble feels that it is sad to know that he was doubtful for the playing XI ahead of the Visakhapatnam Test. As Ashwin has also a good batting ability in the lower-order, Kumble calls him as an asset to the team. Kumble also praised another Indian talented all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
Kumble told Cricketnext, “You don’t want your premier spinner to be discussed before a Test series or a Test match, thinking about whether he’ll make it to the team. I think it’s sad but he’s showed his class. He’s the fastest to 350 Test wickets, it’s something amazing. You know, I think Ashwin, not just as a bowler but as an all-rounder, is an asset to the team. Him and Ravindra Jadeja will give you enough armoury with the spin and can also give you solid batting performances consistently, and they’ve done that in the lower-middle order for India.
“So, I don’t see a reason why anyone needs to go beyond these two spinners unless there’s something else that you want to look for, or if one of them is not fully fit. If you’re considering a third spinner, then yes, Kuldeep is of course a genuine spinner, and you’d want a wrist spinner to be in your team. But having said that, Ashwin is your premier spinner and I’m certainly happy with what he’s done because you can’t stop people from discussing. But, now hopefully he would have shut them up. He’s a class act.”
Anil Kumble also credited English county cricket for the Indian off-spinner’s recent success
Anil Kumble further praised Ashwin for his impressive bowling performance during South Africa’s first innings of the Visakhapatnam Test. Kumble claimed that it was a flat wicket and Ashwin maintained his line and length along with variations of pace and trajectory.
Also, Kumble has credited Ashwin’s recent county stint for his present success. Playing for Nottinghamshire in the English County Championship Division One 2019, Ashwin managed 34 wickets in five matches. He finished as the second most wicket-taker for his team in that tournament.
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