Former India opener Aakash Chopra reckons Ravichandran Ashwin’s performance in the India vs England Test series has been underwhelming as of now. The reason according to Aakash is that Ravichandran Ashwin is not imaginative enough on batting-friendly tracks. Ashwin has taken nine wickets in four innings and has averaged over 36. He was not seen as a threat by the England batters in the first two Tests and they were looking to attack the Indian spin veteran.

Ravichandran Ashwin is just a wicket away from being the second Indian bowler to get to 500 wickets in Test cricket. Everyone was expecting him to reach the milestone in the first two Tests but he has been stranded on 499. Aakash Chopra feels that Ashwin has played too much cricket on extreme spin-friendly pitches and a sudden switch to flat batting-friendly tracks has affected his bowling. However, he is expected to reach the 500-wicket milestone in the third Test which will commence on February 15, Thursday.

Aakash Chopra was asked on his YouTube channel about Ravichandran Ashwin’s unimpressive show in the ongoing series. He responded, “I am with you, actually. If you play too much cricket on extreme spin-friendly pitches continuously, when you go to flat pitches and the opposing team suddenly comes with an aggressive mindset, you have to be more imaginative, which you expect.”

The cricketer-turned-commentator noted that Ravichandran Ashwin hasn’t thought out of the box in this series. “Ashwin is standing on the verge of 500 wickets. So you expect that he will understand and manage all these things. However, the truth is that the Ravi of Ravichandran Ashwin hasn’t risen in the series thus far. That’s probably a combination of being used to mostly playing on turning pitches and Bazball,” added Aakash Chopra.

Ravichandran Ashwin Might Have Been Surprised By The Aggressive Approach Against Him In Hyderabad

Aakash Chopra feels that the counterattacking approach by England’s vice-captain Ollie Pope took Ravichandran Ashwin by surprise in the second innings of the first Test. He said, “I thought he was slightly taken by surprise in Hyderabad because you generally see Ashwin trying different things. However, that was not seen in Hyderabad. He didn’t change his angle at all when Ollie Pope was playing sweeps and reverse sweeps.”

The reputed commentator acknowledged that except for the second innings in Vizag, the off-spinner has not performed at his level in this series. “He kept bowling from one place and he kept hitting. That’s not the Ashwin that we know. Even in the first innings in Vizag, the batters ran after him and he didn’t get wickets. So the performance has looked slightly weak although he was coming back to his own in the second innings,” Chopra stated.

Ravichandran Ashwin took figures of 3/72 in the second innings at Vizag and accounted for the dismissal of Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, and Joe Root helping India to win the Test match on Day 4. The Test series is currently leveled 1-1 and the third Test will be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot and it will be a good opportunity for both teams to take a lead in this five-match Test series. India lost the first Test in Hyderabad and then made a comeback by winning at Vizag to level the series

India has not lost a Test series at home since 2012 when they were last defeated by England 2-1 in the four-match series where India was led by MS Dhoni and England was led by Sir Alastair Cook. The hosts would like to continue their unbeaten streak at home and win their 17th consecutive series at home by defeating England in this series.

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