Home > Features >

Ravichandran Ashwin breaks his overseas drought; chance for him to outshine Ravindra Jadeja

Ravichandran-Ashwin-of-India-celebrates-with-his-team-mates--2
Ravichandran Ashwin (left) made a strong comeback with the ball, picking up three wickets in England’s first innings © Getty Images

Ravichandran Ashwin broke his overseas drought when he picked up the wicket of Gary Ballance on Day Two of the fifth Test against England at The Oval. It took Ashwin more than two years to pick a Test wicket away from home, as his last scalp had come in Adelaide in 2012. Ashwin bowled well on Day Two and if he can build on that performance, India may consider him to be their leading spinner ahead of the Australia tour, writes Nishad Pai Vaidya.

It took Ravichandran Ashwin more than two years, 83 overs and 226 runs to take an overseas Test wicket. The Indian off-spinner’s last Test wicket away from home came at the Adelaide Oval in 2012 and three Tests later, he broke that drought by dismissing Gary Ballance at The Oval. It wasn’t just about the fact that he took wickets, but he looked threatening and troubled the batsmen with his off-spin. There has been a huge debate about Ashwin’s effectiveness overseas and though this wasn’t a spectacular performance, it should help him gain confidence.

On home soil, Ashwin has been the king. Against the touring sides, he has been almost unplayable, picking up wickets in bagfuls. Ashwin is one of the fastest to get to 100 Test wickets. But, one can see the anomaly in the figures. Out of his 106 Test wickets, only 11 have come overseas from six Tests — which includes his two scalps on Day Two at The Oval. This number just goes to reflect how dominant he has been at home and the fact that he has searched for the same guile overseas.

In his two overseas Tests after the Australia tour in 2011-12, Ashwin failed to take wickets. At Johannesburg last year, he conceded 108 runs in the two innings and was  dropped in favour of Ravindra Jadeja for the Durban Test. Brought back at Manchester eight months down the line, he hardly bowled and did not have much to do. Ahead of the Australia tour later this year, he had to inspire confidence and put in a good performance.

Ashwin was ready to give the ball air and doled out his variations. He could have had Ballance earlier, but Ajinkya Rahane failed to grasp it at first slip. Ashwin then played a game of foxing the batsman on length. Ballance was made to play at one that was a little short and he played it straight into the hands of the short-leg fielder. Moeen Ali then got a taste of his own medicine as Ashwin persisted with an attacking line. That was the positive to emerge — Ashwin was ready to bring an  attacking instinct in play even when the surface did not have much in store for him.

At home, Ashwin is a certainty in the eleven. Perhaps, even Pragyan Ojha would come in and strengthen the spin-attack. It is only overseas that Ashwin had to compete with Ravindra Jadeja for a spot. If he can build on this performance on Day Three, India may choose him as theirfrontline spinner in Australia. When he started out, Anil Kumble too didn’t have a very good time overseas either and it was only in later years that he persisted and emerged successful. Ashwin would take heart from India’s highest wicket-taker’s development.

Catch all the coverage of India’s tour to England here

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 13, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Gros Islet, St Lucia

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Mumbai Indians won by 9 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 72 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 13, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 13, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 7 wkts

Scotland tour of Ireland, 2014

Sep 12, 2014  at Dublin

Scotland won by 8 wkts

Photos

India tour of England 2014: Highlights

Videos

Ajmal addresses media after being suspended

West Indies in complete command of 2nd Test against Bangladesh at Gros Islet

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in CLT20 2014 Preview: A pack of world-class players

Saeed Ajmal’s suspension: ICC catches big fish to send strong message on suspect actions

Kolkata Knight Riders in CLT20 2014: Heavyweights who stand an excellent chance of going the distance

Cape Cobras in CLT20 2014 Preview: South African unit high on quality

Bangladesh Bangladesh vs West Indies Bangladesh vs West Indies 2014 Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Lahore Lions vs Mumbai Indians Lahore vs MI MI vs Lahore Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians vs Lahore Lions Southern Express West Indies West Indies vs Bangladesh West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014

Kolkata Knight Riders eager for better show in CLT20 2014: Trevor Bayliss

CLT20 2014: MS Dhoni says IPL teams know conditions well

Sri Lanka Cricket may get politically appointed committee to govern: Mahindananda Aluthgamage

West Indies in complete command of 2nd Test against Bangladesh at Gros Islet

Shahid Afridi gets Abdul Razzaq’s backing for Pakistan captaincy

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Lahore Lions’ fate mimics that of Pakistan

CLT20 2014 Qualifier match 5: Lahore Lions vs Southern Express — Key battles

CLT20 2014 Qualifier Match 6: Mumbai Indians vs Northern Knights — Key battles

Barbados Tridents in CLT20 2014 Preview: Absence of big names presents opportunity to youngsters

Agatha Christie – the cricketing connections of the queen of crime fiction

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

635 Posts | 7 Fans

Yuvraj Singh in Anupam Kher show

Discovered — proteins that control connection between nerve cells

Google is Apple’s biggest competition, Facebook is a partner, Amazon is neither: Tim Cook

The phone call when Steve Jobs asked Tim Cook to become Apple’s CEO

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Why does Karan Patel aka Raman throw tantrums

The Mediterranean diet — dietician’s tips to start with this healthy plan

7 Reasons Why You Need Hummus in Your Life

25 Truths You Discover in Your Mid-Twenties

What is Gautam Rode’s Mahakumbh all about?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here