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Time has come for Ravichandran Ashwin to win India a game in overseas conditions: Sanjay Manjrekar

Ravichandran Ashwin jumping in celebration on Sunday.
Ravichandran Ashwin jumping in celebration on Sunday.
ANALYST

Sanjay Manjrekar feels that the time has come for Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to emulate his home success in overseas conditions.

Manjrekar also reiterated his long-held stance that Ravichandran Ashwin isn't as good a match-winner in SENA countries as he is in turning conditions, saying it still needs improvement.

Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for India on Day 3 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.

On a fairly fresh pitch, the 34-year-old bowled with masterful discipline, giving India the first breakthrough in the shape of Tom Latham and giving up just 20 runs in the process.

Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo:

"He is surely a high-class bowler but I will again tell everyone that he's a brilliant match-winner on turning pitches in India. But this is his third tour to England - he's been to Australia three times and twice to South Africa - and here he hasn't shown a long impactful spell yet to win the game for India. The time has come for Ashwin to do just that."

Ashwin's wicket was followed by another tedious phase of attritional bowling by the Indians. Ishant Sharma provided a second respite - Devon Conway caught at mid-on - at the business end of the day.

Ravichandran Ashwin picked up the wicket of Latham like Prasanna, Bedi used to do: Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar also observed that Ravichandran Ashwin's dismissal of Latham was atypical of him.

Unlike in India, where Ashwin deploys turn and variations and uses close-in fielders, Manjrekar said Ashwin lured the batsman into driving the ball, a method once championed by legends like Erapalli Prasanna and Bishan Singh Bedi.

"Today's wicket was absolutely brilliant because he had no help from the wicket and he got the dismissal in a new way. In India, he picks up wickets with the help of short-leg and silly-point. Today, he picked up the wicket like an old-timer, like how Prasanna and Bishan Singh Bedi used to do by luring the batsmen into driving to the covers, mid-off or mid-on. Pitch didn't had anything for him but despite that, he picked the wicket using a good strategy, tactic and skills."

Courtesy of Ashwin and Ishant's spells, the WTC final stands piquantly poised, with New Zealand trailing by 116 runs and India requiring eight wickets before they can bat again.

Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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