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'He just doesn't bowl bad balls': Ashwin's heroics impresses Martin Guptill, explains why most struggle against spinner

R Ashwin in his final over provided the hosts with a much-needed breakthrough as he removed a well-set Mark Chapman on 63(50), and went on to inflict another blow on the Black Caps after another three deliveries.
India coach Rahul Dravid and India's Ravichandran Ashwin after win the first T20 International Match against New Zealand, at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday. (ANI)
Published on Nov 18, 2021 12:15 PM IST

R Ashwin maintained his impressive form as he played a key role in India's five-wicket win over New Zealand in the series opener played in Jaipur on Wednesday evening. The 35-year-old returned with clinical figures, conceding just 23 runs in his four overs, which also included two big scalps. 

Ashwin in his final over provided the hosts with a much-needed breakthrough as he removed a well-set Mark Chapman on 63(50), and went on to inflict another blow on the Black Caps after another three deliveries. This time he trapped Glenn Phillips LBW on 0, bringing India back in the contest and putting the much-needed brakes on New Zealand innings.   

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His efforts helped India restrict New Zealand for 164/6 in 20 overs, a total India chased down in 19.4 overs. 

Impressed with Ashwin's heroics, veteran New Zealand batter Martin Guptill called the Indian a ‘wily bowler’, whom he has never seen bowl a single bad delivery. 

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"He's a wily bowler, he's got great control of his line and length and he just doesn't bowl bad balls. I don't remember him bowling me any bad balls throughout his career. He's just very difficult to get away, you know, his change of pace is so subtle and so well-controlled, he's just very hard to get away," Guptill remarked about the Indian spinner during the post-match press conference. 

The tall New Zealand opener despite finishing on the losing side emerged as the leading run-scorer from the contest. The right-handed batter scored 70 from 42 balls and it felt like he was in mood for more before getting out caught in deep off Deepak Chahar's over.  

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