VVS Laxman, former Indian batsman was all praise for off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin after the latter continues to grow in his performance for team India. VVS Laxman highlighted various facets of Ravichandran Ashwin’s cricketing brain and credited them for the off-spinner reinventing himself.
The off-spinner breached the 400-wicket mark in Tests in the recently-concluded pink-ball 3rd Test match against England becoming the second-fastest bowler to achieve the milestone after Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan, doing so in just 77 Tests.
VVS Laxman: Ravichandran Ashwin Works Out Weaknesses Of The Opposition Batsmen And Plans Accordingly
During a discussion on the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, former cricketers VVS Laxman and Aakash Chopra were asked for their valuable opinions of what makes Ravichandran Ashwin so special. The former pointed out that the wily off-spinner has come up with precise plans and executed them to perfection.
“I think he is a very intelligent person. When you are playing at the highest level, it is not only about the skill but it is about your preparation, it is about your planning, and execution is so critical. He works out what are the weaknesses of the batsmen, he plans those dismissals and that is why I think he is reinventing himself,” said VVS Laxman.
The stylish former batsman observed Ravichandran Ashwin is at the top of his game when operating against the best. He cited the example of the off-spinners recent domination of Steve Smith in the 4 Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy held in Australia.
“We saw recently in the Australia series how he troubled someone as great as Steve Smith and that’s another thing which makes Ashwin or any champion player special is he always wants to be the best and compete against the best,” added VVS Laxman.
Ravichandran Ashwin has 401 wickets from 77 Tests at an average of 24.05 but the 34-year-old spinner said landmarks and milestones are not in his mind anymore. He has 401 scalps and is only behind Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434), and Harbhajan Singh (417) among India’s leading wicket-takers.
In Australia, the off-spinner picked the wicket of an experienced campaigner in form Steve Smith thrice in each of 3 Tests he played at Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
Aakash Chopra Terms Ravichandran Ashwin’s Performance As Phenomenal And Is Second Best To Only Anil Kumble As Match Winner
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.
“Phenomenal, seventy-seven Test matches for 400 Test wickets. Let the naysayers be, the fact is that when the pitch is dished out there are four or five spinners playing on the very same surface. One guy is picking more wickets than anybody else and it is not that you are playing only on rank turners,” said Chopra.
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.
“He has been absolutely phenomenal with the craft he has displayed over a period of time and as he is growing as a bowler, he is picking up a lot of wickets overseas. So, that question mark is also getting answered quite nicely and I feel he is an absolute rockstar, he is one of the biggest match-winners that India has ever produced, of course Anil Kumble will remain at No.1 still,” concluded Chopra.
Ravichandran Ashwin has himself attributed his success to his meticulous planning. He recently disclosed that he watched eight hours of continuous footage before the Adelaide Test against Australia to draw up his plans for the remarkable Test series in Australia where India came back from behind after losing the 1st Test.