Former India opener Aakash Chopra acknowledges that Ravichandran Ashwin’s performance in the India vs England Test series has been disappointing so far. The reason, according to Aakash, is that Ravichandran Ashwin is not imaginative enough on batting-friendly tracks. Ashwin took nine wickets in four innings and averaged over 36. England’s batsmen did not see him as a threat in the first two Tests and looked to attack the Indian veteran.
Ravichandran Ashwin is just one wicket away from being the second Indian bowler to reach 500 wickets in Test cricket. Everyone expected him to reach the milestone in the first two Tests, but he was stranded on 499. Aakash Chopra feels Ashwin has played too much cricket on extreme spin pitches and a sudden switch to flat, batting-friendly tracks has affected his bowling. However, he is expected to reach the 500-wicket milestone in the third Test starting on Thursday, February 15.
Aakash Chopra was asked on his YouTube channel about Ravichandran Ashwin’s impressive performance in the ongoing series. He answered, “I’m with you, actually. If you continually play too much cricket on pitches with extreme spin, when you go to flat pitches and the opposing team suddenly comes in with an aggressive mentality, you have to be more imaginative, which is to be expected.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that Ravichandran Ashwin has not thought out of the box in this series. “Ashwin is on the brink of 500 wickets. So you expect him to understand and handle all these things. However, the truth is that Ravichandran Ashwin’s Ravi has not risen in the series so far. It’s probably a combination of being used to playing mostly spin pitches and Bazball.” Aakash Chopra added.
Ravichandran Ashwin might have been surprised by the aggressive approach against him in Hyderabad
akash chopra feels that England vice-captain Ollie Pope’s counter-attacking approach caught Ravichandran Ashwin by surprise in the second innings of the first Test. He said, “I thought he was taken a bit by surprise in Hyderabad because you usually see Ashwin trying different things. However, that was not seen in Hyderabad. It didn’t change the angle on him at all when Ollie Pope was playing sweeps and reverse sweeps.”
The reputed commentator acknowledged that except for the second innings in Vizag, the off-spinner has not performed at his level in this series. “He kept bowling from one spot and kept batting. That’s not the Ashwin we know. Even in the first innings in Vizag, the batsmen ran after him and he got no wickets. So his performance seemed a little weak, although he was getting back on track in the second innings.” Chopra stated.
Ravichandran Ashwin took figures of 3/72 in the second innings in Vizag and was responsible for the dismissal of Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Joe root help India win the test match on day 4. The test series is currently tied 1-1 and the third test will be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium in Rajkot and will be a good opportunity for both teams take the lead in this five-match Test series. India lost the first Test in Hyderabad and then bounced back by winning in Vizag to level the series.
India have not lost a Test series at home since 2012, when they were last defeated by England 2-1 in the four-match series in which India were led by MS Dhoni and England were led by Sir Alastair Cook. The hosts would like to continue their unbeaten run at home and win their 17th consecutive home series by defeating England in this series.