Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has hailed off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for his exemplary performance against Australia in the recently concluded Boxing Day Test. The Tamil Nadu bowler dismantled the Aussie batting by scalping three wickets in the first innings which included the dismissal of Steve Smith.
Ashwin went on to pick two more wickets in the second innings, helping India to bundle the opponents for 200. The off-spinner garnered praises for taking down Steve Smith cheaply, in the first innings of both matches.
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Impressed with his heroics, Laxman, in his latest column on Times of India, said that this is the best version of Ravi Ashwin he has ever witnessed in overseas conditions.
“Ravichandran Ashwin seems to have the measure of Smith at the moment and backed up his performance in Adelaide with another lovely display of off-spin in Melbourne. It’s the best I have seen Ashwin bowl overseas, and that’s saying something given the peaks he has scaled,” Laxman wrote.
Besides Ashwin, Laxman also highlighted the efforts put by youngsters Shumban Gill and Mohammed Siraj who made their Test debuts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The cricketer-turned-commentator wrote that team India didn’t look feeble despite missing the likes of Virat Kohli, Shami and Ishant Sharma.
“I was heartened by the approach as well as the performances of debutants Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj. It also reiterates India’s burgeoning bench strength; even without their best batsman and their most experienced pacer on tour, Mohammed Shami, not to mention the absence of Ishant and Rohit Sharma, India didn’t appear seriously handicapped,” Laxman wrote.
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After levelling the series 1-1, India now gear up to lock horns with Australia in the third Test that begins at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 7.