VVS Laxman doffs hat to Ashwin’s craft
Ravichandran Ashwin is a thinking cricketer, who is constantly reinventing himself, said former India batsman VVS Laxman, insisting that preparation is key to the experienced off-spinner’s success.
Ashwin recently became the fourth Indian bowler to take 400 Test wickets, when he dismissed Jofra Archer in the pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad, which the hosts won by 10 wickets under two days.
Ashwin, 34, also became the second fastest bowler to reach the landmark after Sri Lanka spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan.
“I think he’s (Ashwin) a very intelligent person. When you’re playing at the highest level, then it’s not only about your skill, it’s about your preparation, your planning and execution are so critical.
“So he works out what are the weaknesses of the batsman. He plans those dismissals and that’s why I think he is reinventing himself,” Laxman, who played 134 Tests for India, said on the Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.
To prove his point, Laxman cited the example of Steve Smith’s troubles against Ashwin during India’s recent tour Down Under.
“We saw recently in the Australia series how he (Ashwin) troubled someone as great as Steve Smith and that’s another thing that makes Ashwin or any champion player special, that he wants to be the best and compete against the best,” he said.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra too lavished praise on Ashwin, saying he is one of the biggest match-winners the country has ever produced.
“78 Test matches for 400 Test wickets. Let the naysayers be! He’s been absolutely phenomenal with the craft that he has displayed over a period of time and as he’s growing as a bowler, he’s picking up a lot of wickets. So that question mark is also getting answered quite nicely,” said Chopra.
“I feel that he’s an absolute rockstar. He’s one of the biggest match-winners that India has ever produced, but of course Anil Kumble will still remain at No.1,” Chopra added.