Erapalli Prasanna explains what failed Ashwin in Southampton Test

Erapalli Prasanna explains what failed Ashwin in Southampton Test

Ashwin managed just three wickets in the game even as his English counterpart Moeen Ali bagged nine scalps.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin of India bowls. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Ravichandran Ashwin failed to rise to the occasion in the fourth Test in Southampton which India lost by 60 runs to let go the series 1-3. The off-spinner, who had a decent beginning to the series at Edgbaston, managed just three wickets in the game even as his English counterpart Moeen Ali bagged nine scalps to win the Man of the Match award. Why has Ashwin failed to deliver in the series? Former Indian spinner Erapalli Prasanna has an answer.

The off-spinner opened the bowling for India in the second innings in Southampton with an aim to exploit the rough patches but he ended up conceding 84 runs in 37.1 overs and took the sole wicket of Ben Stokes. Many questioned whether the bowler was fit to play the game after his injury in the third Test at Trent Bridge where he bowled just one over in the first innings.

But Prasanna had an insight on Ashwin’s failure at the Ageas Bowl and according to him, the offie erred by not making the batsmen drive.

“I think Ashwin should know how to set a field on a wicket like this. No doubt, there are few basics to be adhered to, but things could have been better organised. On this pitch, he should have made the England batsmen drive. The most basic thing on a wicket like this, you don’t have to do anything. You bowl on the spot (rough patch) and let the batsmen drive the ball,” 78-year-old Prasanna was quoted by My Nation as saying on Monday.

Ali outdid Ashwin in fourth Test

Prasanna, one of the members of India’s famous spin quartet in the 1960s and ’70s and picked 189 wickets in 49 Tests, said a bowler should always make a batsman drive and not play on back foot. Comparing Ashwin’s performance with that of Ali, Prasanna said while the latter bowled sixty per cent of driving length, the Indian office bowled 70 per cent short of length deliveries.

Talking about Ali, who took his fifth five-wicket and sixth four-wicket haul in the match, he said: “He had the flight, he allowed the batsmen to come forward. He was not allowing the Indian batsmen to go on the back foot. Virat Kohli’s wicket was on the front foot. These are the basics of spin bowling.”

According to the former spinner, length is mandatory while line is optional in Tests and Ashwin, despite having a substantial experience, did not stick to the rule.

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