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Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar is so impressed with Ravichandran Ashwin’s batting in recent times that he feels the all-rounder can even the open the innings for his team.
The off-spinner is fast becoming one of the most important batsmen in the team with his consistent contributions with the willow. He was the fourth highest run-getter on the West Indies tour and while he did not contribute much with the bat during the New Zealand series, he is making amends for it in the ongoing England series. Apart from taking 15 wickets, the all-rounder has accumulated 239 runs in five innings at an impressive average of almost 48.
Speaking to NDTV, Gavaskar said:“He is making a case of opening the batting for India. The way he has been batting in the last six to eight months, I must say that India has got a reliable all-rounder and that is a huge plus.”
In reply to England’s first innings total of 283, India were reeling at 204 for 6 but the lower order batsmen once again came to India’s rescue and helped the hosts score 417 runs. Ashwin (72) added 97 runs for the seventh wicket with Ravindra Jadeja, who scored a career best 90. Jadeja further shared an 80-run partnership with Jayant Yadav, who scored his maiden Test fifty to take India to a comfortable position.
“Ravi Ashwin has one of the finest cricketing brains in the game. Under Ashwin’s guidance Ravindra Jadeja also showed exemplary patience and went on to score big,” Gavaskar said.
“Ravindra Jadeja deserved a Test hundred and he was very close to it.”
“As far as Jayant is concerned, he looks to me a fine player. He got the opportunity and grabbed it with both the hands,” Gavaskar added.
“Jayant Yadav looks as if he belongs there. He has been playing domestic cricket for 4-5 years and came into the Indian side by performing well there. You have got to start doing well in the domestic cricket first to expect the India call,” he concluded.