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Joe Root urges England batsmen to learn how to play spin from Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after scoring his fifth Test hundred.
Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after scoring his fifth Test hundred.
Modified 23 Feb 2021

Joe Root was in awe of Ravichandran Ashwin following his sensational hundred in the second Test at the Chepauk on a turning track. The England skipper hailed the Indian all-rounder for putting the visitors under pressure by playing an excellent innings.

Using his feet against the likes of left-arm spinner Jack Leach, Ravichandran Ashwin played his shots and didn't allow the bowler to bowl a particular line and length. He also didn't hesitate to take on the spinners by going down the track or rocking on the back-foot and playing behind square.

In a press conference before the third Test in Ahmedabad, Joe Root urged his batsmen to take a leaf out of Ravichandran Ashwin's book on how to play spin.

"One thing that I watched on how he played Leachy in the previous game, scoring that hundred, how he used the crease to his advantage, not just going down the wicket but getting deep in his crease. Thus, even we need to be proactive and decide how we are going to score our runs," Joe Root said.

Joe Root is well too aware of Ravichandran Ashwin's incredible record against left-handers. He knows the visitors will need to be wary of the 34-year-old despite the pink ball tending to favour the faster bowlers. Root said in this regard:

"He (Ravichandran Ashwin) is a world-class performer. It has been tricky for everyone, but particularly with the lefties because of how good his record has been against our left-handers and those in world cricket."

Pink-ball will aid seamers as well as spinners: Joe Root

Joe Root feels Ravichandran Ashwin could extract extra bounce with the pink ball.
Joe Root feels Ravichandran Ashwin could extract extra bounce with the pink ball.

Joe Root reckons that although the pink ball traditionally suits seamers, spinners can also take advantage of it due to its exaggerated bounce and movement off the pitch.

The 30-year-old believes the pink ball has a better pronounced seam than that of the red ball. So it tends to grip better off the pitch and produce extra bounce for spinners.

"I think we have worked pretty hard as a batting group, trying to speak about the challenges that this pink ball will represent. The seam will stay harder for longer, which will not only aid the seamers but also the spinners. It might give them a little bit of more bounce, and it might turn quicker for longer," Joe Root asserted.

The third Test between Team India and England is set to begin on Wednesday at the newly-renovated Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad. With the surface having a hint of grass, both teams could go in with an extra seamer.


The day-night Test is pivotal to both teams' hopes of making the inaugural World Test Championship final.

While India need a series win to do so, England need to win both Tests; a drawn series will take Australia to the final instead of India or England.

Published 23 Feb 2021, 17:32 IST
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