Former Indian skipper and commentator, Sunil Gavaskar, lavished praise on R Ashwin for his wonderful bowling on Friday (December 7), saying the off-spinner did more than what Captain Virat Kohli could have asked from him in the ongoing first Test against Australia in Adelaide.
On Day 2 of the series opener of the four-match Test Series Down Under, Ashwin has proved his worth that why he is a crucial part of India’s Test scheme, especially overseas, by taking three crucial Australian top-order wickets – Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh, and Usman Khawaja.
Gavaskar is also impressed with the way Tamil Nadu man bowled on Friday, as the veteran off-spinner displayed brilliant control over the ball, hit the right lines and lengths to maintain the pressure on the batsmen without leaving a single chance to hit the ball for the big shots here.
The cricket legend also feels that Ashwin has picked up some things from Nathan Lyon's bowling, but did not find it wrong, saying he did a brilliant job with the ball for India in Adelaide.
Gavaskar told Sony Six, “He certainly has picked up a thing or two from Nathan Lyon, there is nothing wrong from learning from the opposition if it's going to help your own game. You don't want to copy but you can take things and bring it to your own game when it certainly helps. This is wonderful bowling.”
He continued on Ashwin bowling, “He did more than that [what Kohli could have asked from him] because he bowled really well. He concentrated on bowling the off-spinners more than the other variety he has. We saw a little bit of variety when Pat Cummins came into bat otherwise, he was bowling the stock ball all the time.
He was varying his speeds, flight but basically, he kept the pressure on the batsmen, didn't give them anything. 3 for 50 of the number of overs he bowled just tells you how well he bowled. Nobody tried to attack him or nobody was trying to attack him when he tossed the ball up. Those two deliveries that he bowled - the one that got Marcus Harris when he was well set - and the one that got Usman Khawaja were top stuff.”
Meanwhile, the cricket pundit believes that Ashwin has now fixed his long-standing problem of bowling a middle-leg line to right-handers, as the off-spinner was seen more patient and consistent with the line throughout the day in Adelaide and even troubled the batsmen by getting the ball to drive both ways.
Gavaskar signed off by saying, “He [Ashwin] did [fixed the problem of bowling too straight to the right handers]. That's exactly what he needs to do. When you're bowling, even in the subcontinent where it turns and grips, if you're bowling a middle and leg line, a lot of time, the ball is going to turn so much that you're not going to get an LBW. But if you bowl just outside the line like he was ball today, if the ball turns in you'll get your man LBW or caught at forward short leg.”
(With Sony Six Inputs)