Ashwin is a statistically motivated cricket tragic: Fleming

  • PTI, Auckland
  • Updated: Mar 11, 2015 23:00 IST

India's R Ashwin came in for high praise from former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming who on Wednesday described the ace spinner as a "good student" of the game and was impressed with the way he works on creating new deliveries.

Ashwin has been one of India's prime performers with 11 wickets from five games at an economy rate of less than four in the ongoing World Cup.

"I have always been impressed with Ashwin as he is such a good student of the game with great work ethic. Look at the manner in which he creates a new delivery. He loves the game, thinks very hard. He is in a way a cricket tragic, statistically motivated," Fleming said during a promotional event of the 2015 World Cup.

"He needs confidence from the team and he gets that with seam bowlers taking wickets upfront. That enables him to attack," said Fleming, who has also been Ashwin's coach at IPL team Chennai Super Kings.

It was at CSK, in 2013 that Mohit Sharma's emergence started and no wonder Fleming is happy with his development.

"India has always had a weakness as far as their third seamer is concerned. They turned it to one of their strengths. Ishant Sharma went home, it could have been difficult for India. I have seen Mohit's development closely and his work with Andy Bichel (the CSK bowling coach) has been impressive.

"He started with a good performance against Pakistan, he has got confidence. Indian pacers are now all in the 140 to 145 kmph mark and they are relishing bowling at that pace," he said.

Just like skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had said that a lot is being made of Suresh Raina's susceptibility against the short ball, Fleming also spoke in the same vein.

"I don't think he (Raina) has any problems as such. If he initially spends some time, he can actually work that to his strength. Maybe there is an anxiety but it won't be a problem as far as the smaller grounds of New Zealand is concerned. Maybe a bit of a problem if he goes to the big grounds of Australia, as he tends to hook up rather than roll his wrists.

"He can get better and he knows that. I don't think it's as big a weakness as people make it out to be," Fleming said, firmly backing his CSK player.

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