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"It was a high-class performance by Ravichandran Ashwin today" - Sunil Gavaskar

Ravichandran Ashwin scalped five wickets in England
Ravichandran Ashwin scalped five wickets in England's first innings
Kartik Iyer
Modified 14 Feb 2021

Sunil Gavaskar has lauded Ravichandran Ashwin's terrific spell in England's first innings of the second Test against India in Chennai.

The ace Indian off-spinner returned figures of 5/43 to help India bundle out the visitors for a score of 134 runs in their first innings. This was Ravichandran Ashwin's 29th five-wicket haul in the longest version of the game.

During a discussion on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar and Ashish Nehra shared their thoughts on Ravichandran Ashwin's performance on the second day of the Test.

The former Indian skipper observed that the lanky spinner had bowled an excellent spell at his familiar home ground, the Chepauk.

"It was a high-class performance by Ravichandran Ashwin. He did not give any chances to the batsmen because of the way he varied his flight and used the crease. This is his home ground. He knows how the pitch will behave here," said Gavaskar.

The renowned commentator pointed out that Ravichandran Ashwin had bowled an immaculate line and length to get the better of the English batsmen.

"He knew if Moeen Ali and Jack Leach were turning the ball so much on the first day, he just had to find a good length and along with that his line was also good. At times when the ball spins a lot and he bowls on the middle and leg, the ball quite often misses the leg stump. He bowled the perfect line today, on the off-stump and because of that he took so many wickets," added Gavaskar.

"Ravichandran Ashwin has been India's No.1 spinner" - Ashish Nehra

Ravichandran Ashwin accounted for 12 wickets in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Ravichandran Ashwin accounted for 12 wickets in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Ashish Nehra highlighted that a fully fit Ravichandran Ashwin has been India's best spinner even in away conditions.

"This pitch is helpful. I would say that when we have gone away from home, when he has been fit, whether it is England or Australia, he has been India's No.1 spinner and he has bowled like that as well," said Nehra.

The former Indian pacer reasoned that the 34-year-old had the ability to snare a couple of wickets on an unhelpful first-day track.

"If there is no help from the pitch, then it is difficult for all spinners but he can still give you one or two wickets on the first day of a Test match because of the way he bowls," concluded Nehra.

Ravichandran Ashwin showed his prowess in away conditions during India's recent tour of Australia, scalping twelve wickets in the three Tests he played.

The off-spinner has been lethal on spin-friendly Indian tracks. His 268 Test wickets on home soil are second only to the 350 scalps taken by the great Anil Kumble.


Published 14 Feb 2021, 19:58 IST
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