Ashwin benefited a great deal from Ravi Shastri: Sunil Gavaskar
Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar has claimed that former director of the Indian team Ravi Shastri was instrumental in Ravichandran Ashwin’s change in fortune with the ball.
The off-spinner has become the bowling mainstay of the Indian team after churning out some unbelievable performances in the last couple of years. His stature as India’s main spinner has only increased after he took 6 for 81 in the first innings of India’s last Test against New Zealand at Indore.
In reply to India’s huge total of 557, New Zealand were going great guns after their openers added 118 runs but Ashwin’s 6 wickets helped the hosts to dismiss the visitors for only 299.
The Tamil Nadu bowler has already taken 20 wickets in the series, the most by any bowler in the three-match series. He also became the third fastest to reach the 20 five-wicket haul landmark, behind Sydney Barnes from England and Clarrie Grimmett from Australia.
Talking to NDTV, Sunil Gavaskar said: “The change in Ashwin’s bowling was first seen during India’s 2014-15 tour of Australia. He benefited a great deal from Ravi Shastri being the team director.”
The former Indian captain also said that Ashwin observed the bowling pattern of Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon on that tour.
“Before the Australian tour, Ashwin usually bowled on middle and leg. But looking at Nathan Lyon, he began bowling outside the off-stump,” Gavaskar added.
After failing to perform in the overseas condition, the spinner was severely criticised for trying too many variations. Gavaskar credited Ashwin’s recent success to resorting to traditional off-spins.
Gavaskar also said that patience and help from other bowlers have helped Ashwin to succeed.
“Ashwin has exhibited great patience during his spells. He is now planning dismissals of batsmen. Also, he has a good supporting cast that does not leak runs and mounts pressure on the opposition,” he stated.
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