R Ashwin celebrates a wicket with his teammates. (BCCI)
R Ashwin celebrates a wicket with his teammates. (BCCI)

'He is pretty much unplayable in these conditions': Gavaskar lauds 'clever bowler' R Ashwin

  • India vs England: Gavaskar, a former India captain, hailed Ashwin for his performance, reiterating that in such spin-friendly conditions, the off-spinner is literally impossible for batsmen to face.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 14, 2021 06:27 PM IST

Sunil Gavaskar did not hold back his praise for R Ashwin, calling the off-spinner a 'clever bowler' following his five-wicket-haul against England on Day 2 of the second Test in Chennai, which tilted the match in India's favour. Ashwin picked up 5/43 – his 29th five-wicket-haul in Tests – helping India skittle England for 134 in their first innings. Ashwin has been a home soil behemoth, taking his wickets tally in India to 268, next only to Anil Kumble in terms of bowler with most Test wickets in the country.

Gavaskar, a former India captain, hailed Ashwin for his performance, reiterating that in such spin-friendly conditions, the off-spinner is literally impossible for batsmen to face. Ashwin, who is currently sitting on 391 wickets, is nine strikes away from reaching the glorious 400-wicket margin, has received backing by Gavaskar to reach the milestone by the end of the series.

Also Read | R Ashwin surpasses Harbhajan in elite list after foxing Ben Stokes

"He is pretty much unplayable in these conditions because he knows exactly the line to bowl, the length to bowl. He’s been mixing his pace. He’s been superb. We saw that in the previous game as well, when he got six and three - nine wickets in the match and here again he is one course to get into the 390s. By the time the series is over, he will definitely have more than 400 wickets," Gavaskar said on the Star Sports Network.

Also Read | 2nd Test: Five-star R Ashwin spins India into ascendency against England

Ashwin is known to have done his homework on the opposition, a trait that was visible while he was bowling on Sunday. India had a huge appeal against Ben Stokes off the bowling off Ashwin and Kohli decided to take the review. Before Kohli made the T-sign though, Ashwin was caught saying on camera 'Mohali mein yehi hua tha' (The same thing happened in Mohali). Later on, the broadcaster showed a clip from the Test match between India and England in 2016 which took place at the PCA Stadium where a similar appeal against Stokes had worked in favour of India, which in turn shows how well-researched Ashwin is.

"Like a batsman does when he’s facing up to different bowlers, what he needs to do, what he needs to avoid. Similarly, Ashwin does that. He knows which ball to bowl to which batsmen, where not to bowl to a particular batsman and what the strengths and weaknesses are of a batsman. Ashwin certainly puts a lot of thought in his bowling. He's a very clever bowler. You can’t get to 400 wickets unless you’re thinking dismissals," Gavaskar added.

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