Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 24 wickets so far in the three Tests © Getty Images
Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 24 wickets so far in the three Tests © Getty Images

Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has hit back at the former Australian cricketer Rodney Hogg, who had asked the right-arm spinner to ‘have a look in the mirror’ following his dominant performances against South Africa. In the ongoing Gandhi-Mandela Series 2015 for the Freedom Trophy, Ashwin has claimed 24 wickets in just three Tests, in which one was washed out. Ashwin and his fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja have together made mincemeat of the world No. 1 South African team, as the tourists have struggled to find feet against the Indian spinners on dry wickets. India currently have an unassailable lead of 2-0 in this ongoing four-Test series.

As the debate on the spinning wickets rages on, Indian team director Ravi Shastri has wished that he would like to see Nagpur-like wicket for the fourth and the final Test against South Africa at Delhi. The fourth Test begins on December 3, at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.

“Nothing wrong with it [Nagpur pitch]. I would hope the one in Delhi is absolutely the same. I have no qualms about it. It just goes to show that with the amount of one-day cricket being played, the tendency to graft, the tendency to spend long hours at the crease is diminishing. It’s only when you play on tracks like this that you realise that you got to spend time at the crease,” Shastri told ESPNCricinfo.

He continued, “And when you saw Hashim [Amla] and Faf [du Plessis] batting yesterday, you thought there was nothing in the pitch. It just goes to show there was an era earlier who would play on these pitches and people would get hundreds. Because they were prepared to go through the grind. I think if someone had applied himself he would have got 80-odd, 90-odd, even a hundred. The way [Murali] Vijay was playing he would have got a hundred.  It [The wicket] was absolutely not [an issue]. It’s on both sides. Par for the course on this wicket was 275 or 250, which was more than enough.”

Hogg, replying to a tweet posted on its official Twitter account by the International Cricket Council (ICC), asked Ashwin to ‘look into the mirror’. Here is the conversation:

 

While the Indian cricket team has been able to dominate South Africa on almost all fronts in this Test series, it is a fact that they too have struggled with the bats on the spin-friendly wickets so far in the Freedom Trophy 2015.