Ashwin’s assault silences his critics
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.