Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann recently praised the Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. He also backed the Indian off-spinner whose overseas performances are not much attractive yet.
Ravichandran Ashwin is undoubtedly one of the great off-spinners in international cricket history. He is the third-most Test and international wicket-taker as an Indian spinner as the off-spinner has taken 365 wickets in 71 Tests and 567 wickets in 228 international matches.
Ashwin is one of the most consistent performers in the home venues as he has taken 254 Test wickets in 43 matches. On the other hand, he has picked up 111 wickets in 28 away Tests. Out of his away Tests, Ashwin has played 21 Tests outside Asia where the off-spinner has bagged 68 wickets.
Though Ashwin is one of the top-class off-spinners, he has mostly been criticised for his underperform outside the Asian soil, especially in the SENA countries.
Graeme Swann recently defended the Indian off-spinner. He claimed that Ashwin struggled outside India, especially in England, due to the batting-friendly condition while facing spinners.
Swann told TOI, “In England or Australia, the whole game is different. In India, there is less bounce and more spin. So there is a bigger margin of error for him. He doesn’t necessarily need a bigger margin of error, but Indian captains can control the pace of the Test match in India, making him extremely effective. He has struggled in England because the conditions are more batting-friendly while facing spin.”
I just didn’t like it when Ravichandran Ashwin started bowling leg-spinners for a brief period: Graeme Swann
In England, Ashwin has taken 14 wickets in six Tests. During India tour of England 2018, Ashwin highly impressed in the first Test at Birmingham where he picked up four and three wickets (4/62 & 3/59) respectively. But due to the finger injury, he failed to maintain that impressive form in that entire series as he added only a total of four more wickets in the next three Tests.
Talking about Ashwin’s underperform during 2018 England tour, Swann said, “When he came to England in 2018, he bowled beautifully in the first Test. But he had an injury before the Southampton Test and wasn’t able to finish his action. To be honest, he is a much better bowler than people give him credit for in English conditions. He doesn’t need to do a lot different. I just didn’t like it when he started bowling leg-spinners for a brief period.”
The Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is now focusing to tour in Australia at the end of this year, which is going to be a crucial tour in his career.