Sachin Tendulkar recently shed light on how Ravichandran Ashwin has managed to spin a web around Steve Smith in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series. Ashwin dismissed Smith with an arm ball in the first Test and with a normal off-spin delivery in the second.
The 31-year-old has managed only ten runs in the four Test innings this series.
Tendulkar talked about how Ashwin is currently leading the battle against Smith with his subtle variations. Speaking to PTI, Tendulkar said:
"In the first Test, Smith got out to an arm ball, or you can call it a straighter which Ashwin releases differently. An off-spinner bowls a straighter which skids off the surface when fingers are not on top of the ball."
Tendulkar then explained how Ashwin set up the Australian batsman in the second Test.
"In the second Test, it was not a slider, but fingers were on top of the ball, which produced bounce and turn. Steve Smith played a normal flick to a regulation off-break that any batsman does by instinct and the fielder was brilliantly placed. There was a well-planned ball and wicket by Ashwin. Both are class players, so someone is going to have a better day, and so far, Ashwin has come out the winner in first two Tests.” added Tendulkar
Steve Smith has probably never faced such a crisis in his Test career ever since he emerged as a top-class batsman. Ashwin has now dismissed him off his outside edge as well as his inside edge in the two Tests.
Steve Smith feels he has allowed Ashwin to dictate terms
The signs looked ominous for India, given the way Smith performed in the ODIs which Australia won 2-1. The Australian star smashed two 62-ball centuries, and it was almost taken for granted that Smith would make merry against the Indian bowlers in the Test series too.
However, Ashwin and the Indian team definitely did their homework on the right-handed batsman after that.
Steve Smith, meanwhile, felt he has allowed Ashwin to dictate terms. He said after the second Test:
“I probably haven’t played Ashwin as well as I would’ve liked. I probably would’ve liked to have put him under a bit more pressure. I’ve sort of let him dictate terms, and that’s something I’ve probably never let any spinner do in my career."Published 31 Dec 2020, 15:45 IST