He pointed out how the leg spinner proved effective even in wet conditions during the rain-affected game against New Zealand on Sunday.
Chahal finished with a couple of wickets as India won by 65 runs in the second T20I. He backed himself to get the wicket of dangerous-looking Glenn Phillips 12(6), who had already smashed him for a six off the first delivery in the tenth over.
The spinner tossed up another delivery but varied the pace, inviting the batter for a big shot, but Phillips missed it entirely and the ball went on to disturb the stumps.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin said:
“He didn’t get a chance throughout the World Cup, which was very unfortunate, but he came back. Even with a wet ball, he bowled beautifully. Even with a wet ball, he bowled beautifully.”
“A notable thing was when Glenn Phillips swept him when he bowled one onto his pads, but despite the wet ball, he slowed it up the very next delivery. Phillips got clean bowled.”
“Extraordinary game awareness” – Ravichandran Ashwin on Deepak Hooda, the bowler
Ashwin also hailed Deepak Hooda, who took a four-wicket haul against New Zealand on Sunday.
He called him a tactical genius for his excellent game awareness and dismissed Daryl Mitchell cheaply. He pointed out how the all-rounder troubled the batter once he realized his weakness.
“Extraordinary game awareness by a man who shows extraordinary batsmanship. Deepak Hooda knew what the batsman would expect and bowled the exact opposite. This 4-wicket spell of Deepak Hooda. Let alone the wickets.”
The veteran feels such an all-rounder is an asset for any captain.
“The control he showed with his different variety and the way he could go in and out is a very big positive for India. A top-order batsman who can give you four overs is a big advantage for any captain.”
“He bowled really well. He has worked really hard on his bowling. What was impressive was how he dismissed Daryl Mitchell. His closed face of the bat will enable him to play anywhere from long off to deep midwicket to square leg.”
“Whereas on the off-side near the cover region, he doesn’t have that many shots since his bat face is closed. So, he steps out outside the off-stump, covers the line, and tries to smash it on the leg stump. When he tried to do that, Deepak Hooda kept bowling outside the off-stump line and made him play through covers.”
Hooda will next be seen in action during the three-match ODI series under Shikhar Dhawan. The opener will be played in Auckland on Friday (November 25).