Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has opined that Ravichandran Ashwin has learnt the nuances of bowling on Australian pitches. The wily off-spinner is the joint-highest wicket-taker along with Pat Cummins in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series, with both bowlers claiming nine wickets apiece.
In this regard, Manjrekar said that Ravichandran Ashwin has been able to extract extra bounce from the Australian pitches when he has given air to the ball. He observed that the off-spinner was able to deceive Marnus Labuschagne in the second innings of the second Test not only by a straighter delivery but also because of the additional bounce.
"When Ashwin flighted the ball on this pitch, he got more bounce. That is an interesting thing that was seen. Even the ball to Labuschagne was a flighted delivery. Yes, it did go straight, but it hit high on the bat," said Manjrekar.
Manjrekar also observed that Ravichandran Ashwin has learnt the tricks of bowling on Australian surfaces now, saying in this regard:
"So, I feel Ashwin has learnt the lesson on how to bowl on Australian pitches. Because if you toss up the ball in India, you don't get bounce from the surface."
Zaheer Khan is impressed with Ravichandran Ashwin's thinking
Zaheer Khan pointed out Ravichandran Ashwin concentrating more on his stock deliveries rather than his variations has yielded him rich dividends.
"We have also generally seen that Ashwin used his variations more in overseas conditions. But on this tour he is not using too many of his variations," said Zaheer Khan.
The former Indian pacer added that Ravichandran Ashwin has tried to deceive the batsmen in the air and by changing his lengths, adding in this regard:
"He has kept his focus on how he can beat the batsmen in the air. He has focussed more on the loop and variations in lengths. So, I feel that has also been a reason."
Zaheer Khan lauded Ravichandran Ashwin for the manner in which he plotted Marnus Labuschagne's dismissal.
"The way he planned Labuschagne's wicket. He knew very well that he is playing more on the back foot, so he wanted to bring him forward. He had made this plan to beat him in the length," observed Zaheer Khan.
Zaheer Khan signed off by stating that Ashwin has left a mark with the strategies he has employed to dismiss the Australian batsmen.
"Yes, when the plan is successful it looks good and not so good otherwise, but I am very impressed with his thinking," concluded Zaheer Khan.
Although Ashwin has taken just a solitary wicket so far in Australia's second innings of the Melbourne Test, the pressure he has applied has helped the other bowlers in achieving success.
A prime example of that was the dismissal of Steve Smith. Jasprit Bumrah got rid of the run-machine after the lanky spinner had strangled Smith from the other end.
Published 28 Dec 2020, 15:35 IST