HomeAnalysisAshwin's Simplicity Helped India Manoeuvre Situations In Adelaide Test

Ashwin’s Simplicity Helped India Manoeuvre Situations In Adelaide Test

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India beat Australia by 31 runs in a closely fought first Test held in Adelaide. And one of the chief architects for the victory was the nation’s premier ace spinner R Ashwin. Ashwin used his simplicity to help India manoeuvre situations in Adelaide
India set a 323-run target for the hosts, who took the fight to eventually fall for 291 runs. With this win, India gained a 1-0 lead in the 4-match Test series. Cheteshwar Pujara slammed 123 and 71 to help India seal a memorable victory. And then there was R Ashwin.
Ashwin’s six wickets played a crucial role in setting the victory for the visitors and the pacers too played a part as India took 20 wickets once again. The brilliance of Ashwin dictating the show with utter simplicity will always be remembered for the time to come.
Ashwin is known for being more front-on with his approach in bowling and used his arm more into the action. A contemporary spinner, Ashwin got his basics right to dish out a gritty show across both innings. It was a pleasure to watch the premier spinner bowl, especially against the left-handers.
Ash’s impact against lefties monumental
When the senior Indian cricketer got the final wicket of the Australian second innings, the writing was a similar one. It was a left-hander facing him and all he managed was to get deceived in the air and offer a simple catch to the slip region.

R Ashwin returning back to take guard for his next delivery. (Image: Twitter)

Indian skipper Virat Kohli used his vital weapon to raise India’s hopes and Ash got that final scalp that frustrated the side for quite a while. A memorable performance this for Ash, who will rate this as one of his best outside the subcontinent.
Ash was crucial against the lefties as often seen when he plays Tests. In the first innings he accounted for Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh to break the backbone of the hosts. He followed it up with another two lefties’ wickets in the second.
“There isn’t much for the left-handers when they’re coming out to face, but it’s not easy to make the shots if you get the pace right,” Ashwin had said in the press-conference earlier in the Test.
Ash fed on the conditions
What Ashwin did well in Adelaide was that he manufactured substantial bounce. A lot is due to his height. And the rest was the variations he uses to get his victims besides the use of the drift to his aid.
Ashwin celebrates the fall of an Australian wicket with wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant. (Image: Twitter @BCCI)

On a pitch that slowed down substantially, the presence of Nathan Lyon in the Aussie side augured well for Ash. Lyon was at his brilliant self and the eight wickets he mustered was a top notch effort. Patience played a huge role for him and he feasted on the Indian batsmen with a lot of intensity.
Ash on the other hand, must have drawn a leaf out from Lyon’s heroics. Ash didn’t try to be too fancy. He didn’t quite use the other ammunitions up his sleeves, but rather focused on being plain and direct. He varied his pace and angles consistently.
So what changed from 2014?
Ashwin on his previous two Test tours of Australia managed just 21 wickets and that came at a hefty average. His average here in Australia was 54.17 from seven previous Tests. There was also the feeling that he might be overlooked in favour of emerging wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in India’s starting XI going into the Test.
R Ashwin and skipper Virat Kohli celebrate with joy after the former gets a wicket in Adelaide. (Image: Twitter @BCCI)

One should also note that visiting off-spinners over the years haven’t done well in Australia.
But the management stuck to Ash and gave him the license to go out and play freely. Ash responded well and was on a different level altogether. The average improved drastically and so did his ability to churn crucial wickets.
The 32-year-old will now be something to count upon for the remainder of this campaign. Kohli knows he can throw the new ball to Ash as well and attack the top order as seen already. So that’s a positive sign. Ash has learned much from his previous efforts in Australia and applied that intelligence with a telling impact.
He was sensational in the first Test
In 2014, when India faced the Aussies here in Adelaide, Ashwin was dropped for the match. Kohli had opted for the leg-spin of Karn Sharma, but the ploy failed.
Ashwin along with the Indian cricket team walk back to the pavilion on Day 5 of the first Test. (Image: Twitter @BCCI)

Now a different narrative comes to the mind. In the familiar environment of the Adelaide Oval, Ashwin was back taking the onus off the attack. His craft included an array of inviting full deliveries that enticed the crease-bound Australians to search for scoring opportunities.
His show helped him manage to earn one spot in the latest ICC Test Rankings for bowlers.
This current Australian team is there for the taking. And Ashwin needs to continue his new found swagger to show the world that he can take advantage of the same.

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