‘I was in form of my life’: R Ashwin on dismissing Sangakkara four times in 23 balls in 2015 Test series
In a recent interaction with Pakistan journalist Mazher Arshad, Ashwin explained the reasons for his success against a stalwart like Sangakkara, even though the former Sri Lanka spinner enjoyed facing off-spinners.Updated: Jul 23, 2020 08:17 IST
A look at Kumar Sangakkara’s career highlights showcases that he really enjoyed batting against off-spinners. He faced the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Saeed Ajmal, and Nathan Lyon with much ease in Test cricket. His batting average in the longest format against Ajmal is 132.75. His average against Harbhajan is 99.33, while against Lyon, his average is 61. But in the 2015 Test series in Sri Lanka, Sangakkara struggled against Ravichandran Ashwin who got him out four times in 23 balls.
In a recent interaction with Pakistan journalist Mazher Arshad, Ashwin explained the reasons for his success against a stalwart like Sangakkara, even though the former Sri Lanka spinner enjoyed facing off-spinners.
Arshad told Ashwin that once, during an interview, Sangakkara had told him that as he was standing behind the stumps when Murali was bowling, he understood how to tackle off-spinners. Addressing the same, Ashwin explained: “When you are talking about Murali and Ajmal, you are talking about different types of bowlers. Murali and Ajmal brought a lot in terms of their doosra and off-break. They were very different from traditional off-spinners who banked on bowling from over the top and getting spin and bounce. Murali and Saeed Ajmal’s trick lied in the fact that the batsmen didn’t pick them.”.
“If you look at Sunil Narine, he’s pretty similar. He’s not about deception in the air, but deception in what is coming out of the hand. For someone, who picks them on what’s coming out of the hand, will naturally find them easy to bat. Likewise, Virender Sehwag found it easy to bat Muttiah Muralitharan,” Ashwin further said.
Speaking on the 2015 Test series, Ashwin said that he was in the form of his life. “Likewise Sanga, I was really, really lucky because I was in the form of my life. The ball was coming out like a dream, I didn’t have to think about anything. I felt like my entire action and rhythm was in motion.
“I also felt that he got some really good balls, I was in a good phase. I was bowling like a dream to left-handers. I felt like whenever I saw any left-hander I could see who he was,” Ashwin said.
“And I loved bowling in Sri Lanka. Because Sri Lanka pitches are not big on the spin, but they have a good bounce and speed to carry an edge to the slips. So, I really enjoyed bowling in that phase of my career. It was about the right time in the right place. Sangakkara was about to finish his career, and I was about to take off my career. So, I found myself at the right time of my career against Sanga,” he further added.