India vs South Africa 2019: Anil Kumble reveals why Ravichandran Ashwin has been dominant in subcontinental conditions
In an exclusive interview with Cricketnext, the 49-year-old explained the reason behind Ashwin’s seven-wicket haul in the first Test against South Africa as follows:
“I think it is the subtle variations that he comes up with and what was really satisfying was that it was a flat wicket and he knew he has to bowl consistently on one side of the pitch and on one side of the wicket. The line was consistent, the length was consistent, he kept varying his pace and trajectory and he wasn’t experimenting too much.”
Kumble stated that the county matches had helped the off-spinner a lot since he had not played international cricket in the last few months. The former captain of the Indian Test team further praised Ashwin by adding that:
“The one that he got Markram out was a classical off spinner. So, you would want your classical off spinner to be getting those kind of wickets. In the first innings, you can’t get a better performance from Ashwin, yes you have to bowl a lot more overs and that is something he has understood as well in Test match cricket. On a flat wicket, you need to bowl 35-40 overs for you to pick up those fifers and that’s exactly what he did.”
The Tamil Nadu-born spinner had recently reached the milestone of 350 Test wickets and, a majority of them have come in subcontinental conditions.
Ravichandran Ashwin's extraordinary record at home
Ever since making his debut in 2011, Ashwin has played 66 Test matches for India of which 37 have taken place in India. The off-spinner has scalped 242 wickets in those matches at a fantastic average of 22.72.
He has grabbed 21 five-wicket hauls while also taking ten-wicket hauls in six matches. Ashwin’s miserly economy rate of 2.77 proves how tough it is to tackle him on a spin-friendly pitch. Also, his bowling strike rate is below 50 which solidifies the statements of Kumble.