Kumble’s tweet after Ashwin broke his two massive records sparks a stir on social media | cricket

There was certainly no doubt about Ravichandran Ashwin’s class and greatness. But international cricket is unforgiving. It keeps asking questions. Requires you to evolve. Ashwin did just that. Whenever he has faced a tough situation where things have stacked heavily against his strengths, he has managed to find answers. It is precisely this trait that has led to debate as to whether he has already done enough to be in the same group as Anil Kumble, India’s leading wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs and arguably one of the top three spinners of all time.

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On Day 2 of the ongoing 4th Test between India and Australia in Ahmedabad, Ashwin took a big step towards that glory. On a smooth trajectory, in stark contrast to places in the previous three Tests of the series, Ashwin managed to get six wickets while giving up just 91 runs. The way he adjusted his lines, varied his pace and tried different things, a different charge or bowling cross seam, showed his adaptability first hand.

Ashwin also broke two of Anil Kumble’s records. By taking his 32nd five-wicket stroke overall and 2nd at home, he became the bowler with the most five-wicket strokes in India. Kumble and Ashwin were tied early in this Test match with 25 five-wicket hauls each.

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Ashwin passed Kumble to become India’s leading wicket-taker against Australia in Test cricket. Ashwin now has 113 wickets compared to Kumble’s 111. In fact, Ashwin is currently the highest wicket-taker at the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, tied with Nathan Lyon.

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After Ashwin’s brilliant performance on a pitch where most other Indian bowlers were struggling, with Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green beating centuries, Kumble took to social media to praise the veteran spinner.

“Nice ball Ashwin class,” Kumble tweeted.

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Ashwin has also been praised by the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly.

When asked what worked for him on day two when he took five wickets for 34 runs, the cricket scientist, as many affectionately call him, gave a detailed explanation.

“No spell is better than the other. And I felt at various stages of this particular series, be it Delhi, the numbers probably don’t give you a five or a six, but the ball comes out beautifully,” he said.

Then he went into the technical part.

“…and whatever changes I made – loading (getting into the delivery step), cocking my wrists (wrist position), all those things proved my spells were much more penetrating. It was probably in Bangladesh and I don’t think I was at my best.

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“However, minor tweaks I’ve made have ensured I have enough support off the pitches and it’s done more in the air than it did in Bangladesh.” The flat deck didn’t make his job any easier and he had to try certain Variations in changing his load and wrist position while casting.

“It wasn’t a pitch that I was busy on so I had to do the messed up seam, the drift and whatever was available I would take it with both hands,” was his candid admission.


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