Former Indian player VVS Laxman has applauded veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for his exceptional performance against Australia in the recently concluded Boxing Day Test. The veteran spinner dismantled the mighty Aussie batting line up by taking three wickets in the first innings which also included the prized wicket of Steve Smith.
Later, he went on to claim two more wickets in the second innings as well, which helped Team India to bundle Australia within 200 on the board. However, the off-spinner earned a lot of praises for claiming Steve Smith cheaply, in the first innings of both matches as well. Meanwhile, his efforts impressed VVS Laxman and in his latest column on Times of India, he said that this is the best version of Ashwin he has seen 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.
Apart from R Ashwin, Laxman also impressed with the efforts put by young talents Shumban Gill and Mohammed Siraj who made their Test debuts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and did fairly well with bat and ball respectively. However, he also wrote that the team India didn’t look shaky despite the absence of stalwarts like 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,” VVS Laxman wrote.
After having levelled the Test series by 1-1, India now all set to take on Australia in the third Test that will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 7.
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