India have the best spin bowling attack in the World Cup: Brad Hogg
Haris Sohail, who was looking in ominous form against India, was left clueless on the score of 36 with a delivery that pitched on middle, bounced and moved away sharply to take his edge, which was safely grasped by Suresh Raina at first slip. The bowler was none other than Ravichandran Ashwin.
The 28-year-old has started this World Cup in brilliant fashion, finishing up with figures of 8-3-41-1 against Pakistan in India’s World Cup opener and then following it up with equally impressive displays against South Africa and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Former Australian chinaman Brad Hogg is one of a number of observers impressed by Ashwin and also Ravindra Jadeja, who has been ever so miserly, and feels that the spin duo have given India a definite edge over the others.
"I think India have the best spin attack among all the teams in the World Cup. Ashwin and Jadeja have been effective on pitches that have traditionally been pace-friendly. In no other team have I seen spinners bowl so effectively in tandem,” said Hogg while speaking to the Times of India.
Ashwin’s turnaround in form very impressive: Hogg
Talking about Ashwin, who claimed career-best figures of 4/25 against UAE on Saturday, specifically, Hogg said: "The way Ashwin has come out of the slump has been most impressive. He has varied his pace, used the flight and because of his high arm action has got the most of the bounce from the pitches here. He has troubled all the batsmen, Pakistani and South African. He was virtually unplayable for the hapless UAE batsmen. I believe he will be such a crucial factor when India take on the West Indies on Friday.”
The 44-year-old was also impressed with Indian captain MS Dhoni for entrusting the spinners with a lot of responsibility. "It has also been quite courageous of MS (Dhoni) to use two frontline spinners when the temptation would have been to rely on four pace bowlers and a lone spinner. But he has stuck to his conviction and played both (Ashwin and Jadeja).
“I agree with him in the regard that a team should play to its strength. And that has helped the team to improve their overall performance in the World Cup. I rate India as one of the favourites," Hogg was quoted as saying.
Vettori and Tahir also making a good impression: Hogg
Hogg did not stop with the Indians alone and went on to praises the performances of spinners from other teams as well, picking out New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori and South Africa’s Imran Tahir for special praise.
"What an edge he (Vettori) has given to the New Zealand team. I feel the teams that have good spinners, have been performing consistently. Indians have Ashwin and Jadeja, Kiwis have Vettori and South Africa have Imran Tahir. They all are leaving an impression on the World Cup, despite the batsmen having virtually taken over the show," he concluded.