ENG vs IND 2018: Ravichandran Ashwin driven to prove his prowess overseas

Ashwin had match-figures of 7/121 at Edgbaston, his best in a Test outside Asia and West Indies.

Ravichandran Ashwin was exceptional in Birmingham. (Getty)

Ravichandran Ashwin is so good at home that his record in overseas conditions can often come across as a pale shadow of it and make him look like a bowler who is one-dimensional. He has taken 225 wickets at an outstanding average of 22 at home and his 98 wickets away come at a very respectable average of 30. 

Ashwin, with his immense tactical and technical nous and his great skillset, is far from a bowler who is willing to sit on the past laurels and not keep evolving. The Edgbaston Test was very important for Ravichandran Ashwin, he isn't part of the limited overs set-up anymore, he was decent but not matchwinning in South Africa and the growing stature and perception of Kuldeep Yadav as well as his own game that he is constantly trying to excel, all of them needed a substantial response from India's spin scientist. 

Really his match figures of 7/121 must have come as a relief for Ashwin. 

He got Alastair Cook out bowled in both the innings through flight, drift and turn. Amidst all the drama, those two balls of beautiful off-spin were the most heartwarming moments of the match. 

Talking about going through the defense of Cook, Ashwin later said, “They were the same delivery, The one I got Cook with was not really a top-spinner but it was when I cocked my wrist a little bit and went over the ball with my index finger to try and get a bit of dip on it. It actually dipped at the right time,” 

Ashwin's exhibition of pure ability and class, impressed Harbhajan Singh too, who is commentating for Sky Sports. The turbanator at the time said, "He bowled really well with a lot of control, This was a nice wicket to bowl on and there was a lot of bounce and side-spin as well. You have to have that drop on the ball to get it to jump. He is a very intelligent bowler, who understands his game.”

Ashwin believes his stint last year in the county championship for Worcestershire has helped him a lot in understanding how to use the Dukes ball and the pace he needs to bowl at in England. 

He talked about it on BCCI website and said,  “One thing I realised was the speed at which spinners have to bowl here, Wickets are extremely slow, even on the first day. You can have a bit of bounce but if the pace is not right the batsmen get a lot of time to play the same ball on the front or the back-foot.”

“I’ve been working on simplifying my action a bit, making sure I get more body into the ball and try and create something in the air, A lot of bad habits had crept in with my arms coming in and all that. I’ve had to work against my own will and try and tell myself I had to do it.”


By Kashish Chadha - 07 Aug, 2018

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