'I'll stick to my strength', says Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of Australia test

Updated: 01 December, 2018 08:26 IST | Gaurav Joshi | Sydney

Despite poor record in Australia over six Tests, offie Ravichandran Ashwin doesn't feel the need to emulate successful Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bowls on Day Three of India's tour match against CA XI at Sydney yesterday; (left) Nathan Lyon. Pic/AFP
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bowls on Day Three of India's tour match against CA XI at Sydney yesterday; (left) Nathan Lyon. Pic/AFP

Ravichandran Ashwin is on his third tour of Australia. He has played six Tests and taken 21 wickets at a miserly average of 54.71. However, despite such poor numbers, Ashwin believes it is important for him to stick to his strengths rather than trying to emulate Nathan Lyon's style of bowling. "What can I learn [from Lyon]? Probably just drop the ball in the right spot. You've got to believe in your strengths. Something's got me 350-odd wickets in my Test career, something's got him 300-odd wickets in his career. It's important to keep going the same way and learn a few things on the way," he said here yesterday.

Poor bowling
Ashwin bowled 24 overs against an inexperienced CA XI batting unit and finished with figures of 1-63 as the hosts ended the day with 356-6, only two short of India's first innings score of 358. Ashwin had an immediate impact on proceedings on Day Three by removing CA XI opener Max Bryant in his third over of the day. Bryant had made 62 from 65 balls before Ashwin deceived him through the air to peg back his off-stump. It was a timely breakthrough for India after D'Arcy Short and Bryant added 114 in just 111 balls for the opening stand.

Mohammed Shami bowled a yard short. Umesh Yadav kept firing the ball towards the line of leg-stump and Ishant Sharma took time to find his groove. All three fast bowlers lacked that consistency that India will need on the batting-friendly tracks of Australia. The afternoon session turned out to be more fruitful for the Indian bowlers with Shami finding a hint of reverse swing and picking up three wickets in a spell as CA XI slumped from 114-1 to 226-5.

Sharp Shami
Shami certainly looked a lot sharper than Yadav and in all likelihood has booked a berth for the Adelaide Test match. The final session was less productive for the visitors as Harry Neilsen and Aaron Hardie shared an unbeaten stand of 130 for the seventh wicket. On a brighter note, Ashwin did have some close misses as he finally found the right length and pace to bowl on a pitch that was providing no assistance for the spinners. The ace off-spinner was happy with his outing, but at the same time, was aware of the challenges that lie ahead in the Test series.

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First Published: 01 December, 2018 08:20 IST

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