Ravichandran Ashwin’s impressive rate of claiming wickets and destructing the batting line up of the opponent team will turn the most reliable off-spinner of Indian cricket team into a cricket legend very soon, says former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar.
“Ashwin is galloping towards legendary status. He is already showing himself to be a great bowler and cricketer. The way he is batting and bowling, he will be a legend when he finishes his career,” Gavaskar told a leading news media on Monday.
Recently, Ashwin concluded with a 10-wicket haul at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium as India defeated New Zealand in the first Test match by a huge margin of 197 runs to take a lead of 1-0 in the three-match series.
When Gavaskar was asked to compare Ravichandran Ashwin with other veteran spinners, the 67-year-old legendary batting maestro said in his exclusive interview with a leading news channel: “Opposition has been different when Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh played and when the four great spinners played. But Ashwin has got a huge heart and is a keen student of the game who is looking to get better every single day. He will certainly leave a mark on the game with both bat and ball.”
The 30-year-old Chennai-born off-spinner on Saturday (September 24) became the fastest Indian bowler to take 200 wickets in Tests. It took Ashwin 37 matches, which is nine less than Harbhajan whose record he broke.
Apart from the remarkable performance of Ashwin, the left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja also put up a brilliant show at Kanpur as he assisted his side bring about New Zealand’s crumple in the first innings, earning him the ‘Man of the Match’ award.
“Jadeja deserved the Man of the Match award. It is good to have three-four people in contention for the award as it means most of the players in the team have done well,” Gavaskar, who played for India from 1971 to 1987, said.
This became first victory at home for Team India under the guidance of head coach Anil Kumble. Gavaskar feels the contribution of the former leg-spinner has been vital for the team.
“As a coach, Kumble has been superb so far. His inputs must have been invaluable at the end of Day 1, when it was just one wicket down for New Zealand. The manner in which India struck back the next day in the first innings and got New Zealand dismissed for not too many, he must have told them what line and length to bowl and that made a big difference,” said the former India skipper.
“This is where somebody who has played a lot of cricket, who has been a part of a winning team and who has been captain, can make a huge difference and we are begining to see it. It’s early days as far as Kumble is concerned but the beginning has been very good and impressive.”
Gavaskar also hailed the visiting team by saying that there is a lot to look forward to from the Black Caps.
“New Zealand didn’t give up at all. They fought very well. There is plenty in this New Zealand side to like about and look forward to in the next two matches,” concluded Gavaskar.
The second Test of the Test series will be played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata from September 30 to October 4. This match will mark 250th Test of India to be played at home.