Recently former Indian Captain and current CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) President complimented Ravichandran Ashwin on his outstanding performances stating, “He is a tough cricketer, you give responsibility to him and he stands up. That's the best thing in Ravichandran Ashwin. It's great to have him in the side and I think he's an asset to the Indian side.”
Ashwin’s responsible batting form in the recently concluded First test against England has earned him a lot of plaudits as his knock of 70 off 139 balls helped India cut down the deficit after England had racked up a first innings score of 537.
Ganguly speaking to India Today reiterated the importance of the lanky all-rounder from Tamil Nadu. In fact, Ganguly pointed out how Ashwin’s improved batting and bowling figure have resulted in a healthy balance for the team and showered praises on the player’s ability to shoulder responsibility.
Ganguly stated, “India should make it absolutely mandatory to play five bowlers in Test cricket because you have somebody like Ashwin at No. 6, somebody who bats so well. One can say, he's not been tested in Australia, England or South Africa but you give him an opportunity and see. I think he's got all the technique to succeed. He is a tough cricketer, you give responsibility to him and he stands up.”
Pressure on Ashwin
The former India captain knows a thing or two about pressure and speaking to the media, reiterated the importance of letting Ashwin enjoy his cricket. In fact, Ashwin’s form in recent years has already seen him being awarded seven Man of the Series awards.
In fact, when Ashwin walked into the ground, India was in a precarious position before an all important 64-run partnership with Wriddhiman Saha helped India reduce the deficit. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner has evolved over the years adding a host of tricky deliveries to his repertoire and is now one of the most consistent off-spinners in the world.
Improved batting performances also mean that after 40 Tests, he has better statistics in comparison to legends such as Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, Imran Khan and Richard Hadlee. Ganguly, when quizzed about such extraordinary statistics of the off-spinner, lauded Ashwin stating, “Well 40 Test matches are a lot of Test matches, to be honest. To be ahead of those legendary cricketers of the game speaks volumes of his performance and his career. I hope he continues because he's got a terrific head on his shoulder”.
India and England played out a draw in a hugely entertaining final day. Nevertheless, ahead of the second test beginning on 17th November, India will hope that Ashwin continues in this rich vein of form.