Legendary Pakistani off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq was all in praise for R Ashwin and impressed the way he has grown in his stature as one of the world’s premier spinners.
Saqlain, England cricket team’s spin consultant, is highly impressed with the Indian offspinner's disciplined performance in the ongoing Test series against England, as well as, saying his capacity to adapt to overseas conditions separates him from the rest of the crop of spinners.
The 31-year-old, who has 324 scalps in 61 Tests, has had a brilliant start of the England Test series as Ashwin picked up seven wickets in the first Test, though, later, he managed to pick the only wicket in the following two Tests but found enough praise for his performance with the ball so far.
As per reports in The Indian Express, Saqlain said of Ashwin, “Today, he is a world-class spinner. I remember four or five years ago, I spoke that he is a good bowler but not yet a world-class bowler. Back then, I saw potential in him. But it was important for him to play outside India, perform and learn, and only then he would be a ready bowler.”
He further added, “I think that has happened, and we can see that in the way Ashwin has bowled in this series. The way he is controlling the ball at present, its shape coming out of hand, pace and trajectory shaping up, setting up and trapping left-handed batsmen.”
Meanwhile, Ashwin has been a vital cog for India and played a key role in team’s success at home over the year, but he has come under the criticism for not being as effective overseas, while his place at the national side also came under threat with the arrival of a new generation of spinners.
But the leg-spinner has lately honed skills and has made few changes in his game which also praised by Pakistan great.
Saqlain signed off by saying, “When I talk to young spinners, I tell them they have to trap different batsmen in different ways. When Ashwin is bowling, you can see he has different plans for different batsmen, and he is working them out. For someone like me who lives in the world of spin, it is enthralling to watch.”