India’s seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin often shows the glimpse of his classy batting with a fluent 30 or 40 here and there. However, he barely put a prize on his wicket after getting his eye on the pitch. In the ongoing Test series against South Africa, Ashwin has amassed the scores of 12, 37, 38 and 3 in 4 innings thus far and had looked in total command while facing the fiery Proteas pacers.
Considering the way he throws away his wicket every now and then, legendary India opener Sunil Gavaskar has urged Ashwin to be more thoughtful while batting. The first batsman in the history of cricket to aggregate 10000 Test runs, Gavaskar in his column for Times of India wrote that he would liked to see the offie put a price on his wicket.
"Ashwin puts so much thought into his bowling trying to be better than the previous day. If he puts a fraction of that in his batting, he would score more heavily more often. How many times has he been dismissed trying to play on the rise around the off-stump against the moving ball? He has four hundreds against the West Indies but they don't have a single swing bowler who would tempt him to go for the expansive drive outside the off-stump. If he starts analysing his dismissals, he will realise that it's he who has got himself out and the bowler hasn't deceived him," Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his column for TOI.
The batting great also praised the Indian captain Virat Kohli for his magnificent 153 in the first innings of Centurion Test when the visitors were tottering at 28 for 2.
"Kohli's splendid century kept India in the game as they closed in on the South African total. It was as good a Test century that one could hope to see. It had everything, technique, temperament, solid defence and exquisite strokes," Gavaskar opined.
Chasing South Africa’s target of 287 in the fourth innings, the world No. 1 Test team are 3 wickets down for just 35 runs and on the verge of conceding the first Test series having won 9 on the trot in last 2 years. Despite their back against the wall, Gavaskar reckons Indian batsmen need to back their strength to chase down the total on Day 5.
"India must believe they can win this game. The pitch is getting a bit up and down, as was seen with the dismissals of Amla where the ball kept a bit low and de Villiers where the ball jumped from a length. So chasing won't be easy at all, but like their captain if the Indian players believe they can do it, then they certainly can. It's been attritional cricket so far but that's simply due to the pitch, which has not allowed the bat to dominate nor the ball to rule," concluded Gavaskar.