Ash­win’s as­sault si­lences his crit­ics

The Weekend Post - - Sport -

RAVI Ash­win said he was bet­ter this time, on his third trip to Aus­tralia. He said he’d learned what to do here.

The In­dian off-spin­ner, the fastest player to 300 Test wick­ets, faster than the great D.K. Lillee whose record he eclipsed, took on Twit­ter trolls who said he was no good away from home.

There was plenty of fuel for the crit­ics. Be­fore Ash­win put on a mas­ter­class yesterday in Adelaide, 234 of his 336 Test wick­ets had been taken in In­dia, and 277, or 82 per cent, in Asia. His av­er­age in Aus­tralia, through two tours, was nearly 55.

It was enough for Shane Warne to sug­gest left-arm wrist-spin­ner Kuldeep Ya­dav could have been picked ahead of Ash­win in Adelaide.

What folly that would have been. Ash­win had been eyeing off the long list of left-han­ders in Aus­tralia’s top six.

Of the four left­ies, he’d re­moved three be­fore tea on the sec­ond day of the Test and de­liv­ered an almighty up­per­cut to the crit­ics, fin­ish­ing with 3-50 from 33 tight overs.

From his first over on day one, Aussie offie Nathan Lyon was ex­tract­ing spin and bounce from an un­usual Adelaide drop-in pitch, and con­stant groans from the close-in field­ers fol­lowed.

Ditto for Ash­win, who, aided by the per­ceived pres­sure the cheer­ing and yap­ping of keeper Rishabh Pant cre­ated, had his tail up from his first ball.

It was like Ash­win was bowl­ing at home.

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