Team India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has said that he has tasted a lot of success against left-handers because he challenges both sides of the edge.
Ravichandran Ashwin is the only bowler in Test history to register over 200 dismissals against left-handed batsmen. Significantly, New Zealand, India’s opponents in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, have a number of key left-handers like Tom Latham, Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls in their line-up.
In an interview with Sportstar, Ravichandran Ashwin shed light on his incredible record against left-handers, saying:
“I would like to think that it is because I challenge both sides of the edge. I get a batsman out through the inside edge and the outside and get the slip, short leg and silly point in play. I think that is one of the reasons the left-handers find it difficult. Also, I change the angle; I go over the wicket and to the extremes for around the stumps also. So challenging both sides of the bat gives me the edge.”
Ravichandran Ashwin added that New Zealand would have a slight edge going into the WTC final, as they have played two Tests against England. Describing New Zealand as a fantastic team, the 34-year-old further added:
“We have played well to get to the World Test Championship final, and we are deservedly there. They are a fantastic team and have a lot of exciting cricketers. The fact that they would have played a couple of Test matches before the final will be good preparation for them. So we have to adapt; use our experience, and be ready.”
I find myself in one of the happiest phases of my life: Ravichandran Ashwin
Having made his Test debut in 2011, the off-spinner has gone on to become a match-winner for India, particularly in home conditions. He has 409 wickets to his name is 78 Tests and is the country’s fourth-highest wicket-taker in the format.
Reflecting on his decade-long journey in Test cricket, Ravichandran Ashwin said that he is in one of the happiest phases of his life and wants that to continue, saying:
“I find myself in one of the happiest phases of my life. I’m enjoying my cricket. I am not looking too far ahead. If you want to enjoy the moment, you have to stay in the present and embrace it. The first and foremost goal is the WTC. To look beyond the next Test or tour is something I (no longer do), but to be putting myself on the list as an elite is a matter of pride. I never expected to get this far in my life. I have been an optimistic person, but if you have to look back at my life, to play India U-17 and U-19 as a batsman and just starting to bowl off-spin at 19, I have come a long way.”
Ravichandran Ashwin needs only nine more wickets to go past the legendary Harbhajan Singh (417) and move to No. 3 in the list of India’s leading wicket-takers in Test matches.