Constant pressure is putting Ravi Ashwin down, but he has to be confident and try to play all formats: Muttiah Muralitharan
Ravi Ashwin has taken 413 Test wickets for India in 79 Test matches.
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India are set to play a five-match Test series against England starting on August 4 at Trent Bridge. Ravi Ashwin is one of the team’s premier spinners and once again will be crucial for team India in taking wickets in the middle and as well as during end overs. Over the past five years, the off-spinner has taken wickets in a cluster and has gone to become the second fastest player to take 400 Test wickets.
Naturally with success, there ought to be some criticism and Ashwin too is facing a lot due to him not taking wickets regularly in the SENA countries. Now legendary Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan was asked to speak on the Indian off-spinner about what he needs to do to play all three formats of the game. Currently, Ashwin plays just the Test format and Murali feels he needs to play ODIs and T20Is more often.
Speaking on ESPNcricinfo, Murali said: “I rate him highly as an off-spinner. I played with him when he started at CSK and he’s improved a lot.” The former Sri Lankan off-spinner further stated about the constant pressure on Ashwin to perform well from the likes of Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, and other spinners playing in India for various formats.
“The constant pressure from fellow Indian spinners is putting Ashwin down. But he has to be confident and try to play all forms of the game. If he plays just Test cricket his form might come down since he won’t play regular matches. He needs to keep playing all the three formats so that he keeps learning every time.” Added Murali.
Muralitharan feels Ravi Ashwin special in Test cricket due to maintaining tight lines and lengths
Chopra further asked the former Lankan off-spinner of what makes Ashwin special in Test cricket, to which he answered, “He bowls good line and lengths, he varies the odd ball to keep guessing the batters. Of course, in abroad the conditions might not suit him, but in India, he is very dangerous once the ball starts turning. “
“He is difficult to play in Indian conditions due to his crafty knowledge and as a bowler, he thinks a lot”. Murali further concluded by saying that Ashwin can make a comeback in the Indian team in the shortest format, but for that, the coach, management, and the skipper need to believe in his abilities.