Why Ashwin is India's biggest weapon against New Zealand in WTC Final

  • World Test Championship Final: Ashwin's record against left-handed batsmen makes him a huge threat against this New Zealand team.
Ravichandran Ashwin: File photo(AP)
Ravichandran Ashwin: File photo(AP)
Updated on Jun 08, 2021 01:13 PM IST
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The World Test Championship final might present Virat Kohli and the Team India think tank with a few selection headaches. The biggest of them all could be the decision regarding spinners. Ravichandran Ashwin walks into the playing XI because of his outstanding performances with ball, and bat recently, and for the simple fact that he remains India's biggest match-winner in Test cricket.

Yes, his numbers in SENA countries might put up a pale picture when compared to his numbers in India, but he is not the only bowler to have such a discrepancy. It does not take away from the fact that he is an extremely intelligent bowler, who knows how to out-think batsmen, irrespective of the surface he is bowling on.

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One of the biggest advantages Ashwin will have against New Zealand in this crucial encounter is the experience of having troubled most of the top batsmen and the presence of left-handers in the team.

Ashwin's record against left-handed batsmen makes him a huge threat against this New Zealand team. If one considers the playing XI that New Zealand used in the first Test against England at Lord's recently, it could be seen that the team had as many as five left-handers.

Most successful bowlers against left-handed batsmen in Test criccket
Most successful bowlers against left-handed batsmen in Test criccket
It is here that Ashwin could be a potent force for Team India. Ashwin is the most successful bowler in the history of Test cricket against left-handed batsmen, having picked up 207 southpaw scalps in his career, which in fact is 5 more than the number of right-handed batsmen he has dismissed.
Ashwin's record against batsmen type in top 3
Ashwin's record against batsmen type in top 3

Also, his record against left-handed batsmen in the top 3 is outstanding, having picked up 81 wickets at a strike-rate of 52.2. This makes him the biggest weapon against New Zealand's new star, Devon Conway. In fact his opening partner Tom Latham is also left-handed.

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Ashwin has a great record against New Zealand's talisman Kane Richardson too. The Kiwi skipper has been dismissed 4 times in 5 innings by the off spinner. The wizard from Chennai has also accounted for the experienced Ross Taylor on 3 occasions, while he also has a perfect record against opener Tom Latham, whom he has dismissed in all 4 innings that the duo have faced each other in.

The off spinner is expected to be Virat Kohli's go to bowler despite the conditions favouring seam bowling. For Ashwin, who plays just one format for India, winning the World Test Championship is the biggest prize to look forward to and he would be gunning for glory at the Rose Bowl.

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Sunday, December 05, 2021