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"R Ashwin has got better each time he has come to Australia" - Ian Chappell

R Ashwin is the joint-highest wicket-taker of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy thus far
R Ashwin is the joint-highest wicket-taker of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy thus far
Kartik Iyer
Modified 03 Jan 2021, 19:33 IST

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has lauded R Ashwin for displaying marked improvement in his bowling each time he has toured Down Under.

The Indian off-spinner has bamboozled the Aussie batsmen in the two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and emerged as the joint-highest wicket-taker along with Pat Cummins.

Ian Chappell made this observation while reflecting on the India-Australia Test series thus far on National Grandstand.

The reputed commentator was asked what R Ashwin has done differently this time around, that has led to his success. He responded that the wily off-spinner has shown the willingness to learn from each of his previous tours and put in the effort to perform better in subsequent visits.

"He is a smart cricketer. It is the third or fourth time he has been here. The important thing is he has got better each time he has come here. He had a horror tour as the first one and he has worked on things to get better. And then he has worked on more things to get better on this tour," said Chappell

Ian Chappell spoke highly of R Ashwin, figuring out what he needed to do to succeed in Australian conditions.

"That's what happens with good cricketers, they work out what they have got to do to be better. So, I can take my hat off to him. He has worked very hard to be better," added Chappell

"R Ashwin has obviously seen something with the Australians" - Ian Chappell

R Ashwin has caused a lot of problems for Steve Smith in particular
R Ashwin has caused a lot of problems for Steve Smith in particular

Ian Chappell highlighted R Ashwin has outwitted the Australian batsmen despite bowling an unconventional line for an off-spinner.

"He has been bowling what I would class as an unusual line to have success as an off-spinner. But he has obviously seen something with the Australians and he is bowling a lot straighter to the right-handers than I would suggest. He seems to be bowling more a middle-stump line and that has created problems for the Australians," said Chappell

The former batting great expressed surprise at the Aussie batsmen's modes of dismissal against R Ashwin. He added that the greatest off-spinners of his time, in Erapalli Prasanna and Lance Gibbs, had also not managed to get the better of him in that fashion.

"I don't understand how they are getting into trouble and getting caught round the corner at leg slip. To my way of thinking as a right-handed batsman, I just can't think you should get out there. I never thought of getting out at that position of Erapalli Prasanna or Lance Gibbs who were the two best offies I faced in my time," observed Chappell

Ian Chappell signed off by stating that the onus is now on the Australian batsmen to counter R Ashwin and make him change his bowling approach.

"Ashwin has picked up something and he has created some problems there. Now it is over to the Australians as they have got to make the adjustment to force Ashwin to do something different," concluded Chappell

R Ashwin has kept a stranglehold on all the Aussie batsmen, especially Steve Smith, in the couple of Test matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy thus far. The Aussie batting mainstay has even admitted that he has never been kept under such a tight leash by any spinner previously.

Published 03 Jan 2021, 19:33 IST
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