Indian captain Virat Kohli has said that Ravichandran Ashwin can be their spinning all-rounder in any condition. Ashwin has significantly improved his performance in the overseas Test matches and the results have been palpable.
The off-spinner had scalped 12 wickets in three Test matches against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar series 2020-21 and since then he has been bowling at the top of his game.
Ashwin has an impeccable record in the home conditions as he has scalped 300 out of 430 Test wickets and 24 of his 30 five-wicket hauls in favorable conditions. However, the off-spinner has taken giant strides while bowling in overseas conditions.
Ashwin took two wickets in the second innings of the Centurion Test and also got the wicket of Keegan Petersen in the second dig of Wanderers Test. Furthermore, Ashwin has also delivered the goods with the bat. The right-hander scored a fine little cameo of 46 runs in the first innings of the second Test match to help team’s score propel past 200.
“If you look at his [Ashwin] batting contributions in the last Test and the way he bowled in the second innings – 19 runs in 10 overs and picking up a wicket [1/26 in 11.4] when he could’ve easily had 2 or 3 – I think that’s an outstanding contribution to the team,” Kohli said on the eve of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
“Ash knows that his game has come forward leaps and bounds, especially bowling overseas. He understands that himself from Australia onwards. He’s in a very comfortable space where he’s willing to contribute for the team and he’s doing so in the right intention and the right way.”
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja was ruled out of the South Africa tour due to injury but Kohli reckons Ashwin has been successfully able to fill in his shoes.
“Unfortunately, Jadeja has had an injury but Ash has obviously done the job in his absence and we have full faith that Ash can continue to play that role of spinning all-rounder for us in any conditions that we play.
“Jadeja’s value everyone understands and everyone knows over the years what he’s done for the team but I think Ash has been playing that role beautifully for us,” said Kohli.
Ashwin will look to continue his good show in the deciding Test match at Cape Town.