Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan has opined that Ravichandran Ashwin can put to bed all the negative talk about his performances in overseas conditions if he continues the form he has shown in the Border-Gavaskar series thus far.
During a discussion on the Sony Sports network, Zaheer Khan and Sunil Gavaskar lauded the off-spinner's excellent performances in the first two Tests of the ongoing India-Australia series.
Ashwin has come into bowl as early as the 11th over in the Melbourne Test and has made it a habit of taking a wicket with the new ball. When asked about the same, Zaheer Khan said that the lanky spinner has learnt to concentrate more on his stock ball in overseas conditions rather than going for too many variations.
"He has found a way now. We used to see Ashwin trying to use a lot of variations when he used to play Test matches on overseas pitches. Now he has reduced the usage of those variations and has kept his patience," said Zaheer Khan.
The left-arm pacer further observed that Ravichandran Ashwin has chalked out a clear plan to scalp batsmen even on less helpful surfaces, saying in this regard:
"So, he has found a way that where is not too much help in the wicket how he can plan to take wickets. And which fielders he can get into the catching positions. There is a clarity of thought process."
Zaheer Khan observed that Ravichandran Ashwin is eager to put to rest doubts about his overseas credentials. He added that the wily off-spinner's confidence is also high, as he has been amongst the wickets.
"That is the reason he is causing trouble for the batsmen, and your confidence also increases when you take wickets. He is a very experienced player, and somehere or the other, he also knows the talk that happens about his overseas record, he is very keen to change that," pointed out Zaheer Khan.
Zaheer Khan signed off by predicting that Ravichandran Ashwin could put his name as a potent threat in overseas conditions as well by the end of the ongoing series if he remains fit and plays all the four Tests, saying in this regard:
"I feel he is very determined, and I feel in this season all those indications are visible that if he plays all the matches and maintains his fitness, he has a very good chance to settle all those things in a nice way".
Ravichandran Ashwin has been able to get Steve Smith out the way he planned: Sunil Gavaskar
When asked about Steve Smith not having scored runs so far in the series, Sunil Gavaskar said that Ravichandran Ashwin has spun a web around Steve Smith, saying in this regard:
"Australians are worried about what has happened to Steve Smith. I think he has an average around 100 in MCG. But the way Ashwin has deceived him needs to be seen. In the Adelaide Test, he got him caught in the off-side, with the ball that went away," observed Gavaskar.
Gavaskar signed off by pointing out that Ravichandran Ashwin has been successful in getting rid of Steve Smith on both occasions as per the plans he had conceived for the batsman.
"Here the ball was turning, so he got him caught at backward short leg. The manner in which Ashwin has set a trap for him, he has been able to get him out the way he planned," said Gavaskar.
Ravichandran Ashwin is the highest wicket-taker from either side in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy thus far, with eight wickets to his name. The more comforting factor for Indian fans has been Ashwin getting the prized scalp of Smith cheaply in the first innings of both Test matches.
Published 26 Dec 2020, 18:12 IST