India will miss Ravi Ashwin, insists Michael Hussey
Team India went in with an all pace attack and the plan didn't quite work out in the first innings.
Updated - Dec 15, 2018 12:02 pm
India suffered a huge blow when their spin spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin was ruled out ahead of the ongoing second Test against Australia just a day before the action started in Perth. The off-spinner had to miss the game due to a left abdominal strain. Ashwin had played a pivotal role in India’s win in the series opener. India needed a solid start with the ball after managing a modest 250 and the onus was on off-spinner to lead the attack.
He duly delivered by demolishing Australia’s top-order. Ashwin dismissed debutant Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh to leave Australia reeling at 87 for 4. Even in the second innings, he dismissed Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja to put India in the driver’s seat. Ashwin had then gone on to dismiss Josh Hazlewood to fire India to a thrilling one.
With Ashwin out, there were speculations that India might play Ravindra Jadeja after the latter was named in the 13-man squad. However, the visitors sprung a big surprise by not playing any frontline spinner and instead relied on part-timer Hanuma Vihari.
The move did not pay off well with Australian batsmen making the pacers toil hard on day one. Some quick wickets in the latter part of the day helped India claw their way back but there is no denying that the visitors missed Ashwin. In fact, India would have missed Ashwin even more after seeing Vihari picking up a couple of wickets with his part-time off-spin.
Ashwin’s absence disturbed the team balance
Former Australia batsman Michael Hussey said that India would miss Ashwin as his absence will disturb the team balance.
“It’ll definitely throw the team balance out quite a lot I would have thought,” he was quoted as saying in cricket.com.au. “You could tell quite clearly in Adelaide they liked to use the spinner – much like Australia really – to bowl a lot of overs from one end and then rotate the faster men from the other end,” Hussey added.
Australia, meanwhile, ended day one in 277 for 6 with Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch and Travis Head scoring fifties.