Ravichandran Ashwin has been in spectacular form in the last three months as he produced match-winning performances one after another. After getting the better of Steve Smith in Australia, he spun a web around the English batsmen. Along with Axar Patel, the 34-year-old off-spinner picked up the bulk of the wickets as India finally qualified for the World Test Championship final.
Ravichandran Ashwin was named the man of the series after the contest ended with India beating England in three days to win the four-match series 2-1. He picked up 32 wickets in eight innings and helped India reach the WTC final against England.
Ravichandran Ashwin Plans Dismissals According To Batsman’s Mistakes And Is Reinventing Himself: VVS Laxman
Former India batsman VVS Laxman is also full praise for off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, as he insisted that preparation is key to the veteran spinner’s success besides mentioning that he is a thinking cricketer, who is constantly reinventing himself.
Ravichandran Ashwin recently became the fourth Indian bowler to take 400 Test wickets, when he achieved the feat by dismissing Jofra Archer in the pink ball Test at Ahmedabad, which the hosts won by 10 wickets under two days.
Ravichandran Ashwin, 34, also became the second-fastest bowler to reach the landmark after Sri Lanka spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan.
“I think he’s (Ashwin) a very intelligent person. When you’re playing at the highest level, then it’s not only about your skill, it’s about your preparation, your planning and execution is so critical. So, he works out what are the weaknesses of the batsman. He plans those dismissals and that’s why I think he is reinventing himself,” VVS Laxman, a veteran of 134 Tests, said on the Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.
To prove his point, VVS Laxman cited the example of Australian star batsman Steve Smith’s trouble against Ravichandran Ashwin during India’s recent tour Down Under.
“We saw recently in the Australia series how he (Ashwin) troubled someone as great as Steve Smith and that’s another thing that makes Ashwin or any champion player special, that he wants to be the best and compete against the best,” he said.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel combined to claim 59 English wickets as the Joe Root-led side squandered a 1-0 advantage and suffered three back-to-back defeats. Ravichandran Ashwin scored his fifth Test hundred in the 2nd Test at Chennai on a pitch that was the subject of intense criticism besides being the leading wicket-taker. For his all-around effort (32 wickets and 189 runs), Ravichandran Ashwin walked away with the Man of the Series award.
Ravichandran Ashwin Is One Of The Biggest Match-Winners: Aakash Chopra
Former India opener Aakash Chopra too lavished praise on the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, saying he is one of the biggest match-winners the country has ever produced.
“78 Test matches for 400 Test wickets. Let the naysayers be! He’s been absolutely phenomenal with the craft that he has displayed over a period of time and as he’s growing as a bowler, he’s picking a lot of wickets. So, that question mark is also getting answered quite nicely,” said Chopra.
“I feel that he’s an absolute rockstar. He’s one of the biggest match-winners that India has ever produced, of course, Anil Kumble will still remain at No.1,” added 43-year-old, who has played 10 Tests for the country.”
Aakash Chopra termed Ravichandran Ashwin’s scalping of 400 wickets in only 77 Tests as a ‘phenomenal’ achievement. Ravichandran Ashwin proved his credentials in away conditions during the Australia series where he picked 12 scalps in 3 Tests averaging 28.83 which is creditable as the pitches were mostly seaming friendly.
The former opener concluded by calling Ravichandran Ashwin one of India’s greatest-ever match-winners, probably second only to former leg spinner Anil Kumble, who is India’s leading Test wicket-taker with 619 scalps.