Aakash Chopra has expressed his disappointment over Ravichandran Ashwin’s underwhelming performances in the Test series against South Africa.
Ashwin managed to snare just three wickets in the 64.1 overs he bowled in the three-match series against the Proteas. Two of those scalps were the last couple of wickets to seal the Indian win in the Boxing Day Test.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra picked Ravichandran Ashwin’s inability to pick up wickets in the fourth innings as one of the reasons for Team India’s defeat in the Test series against South Africa. He said:
“Ravichandran Ashwin – there were a lot of expectations from him. In my opinion, Ashwin not taking wickets, especially in the fourth innings, I think that’s been a let-down for sure.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that the off-spinner was not consistent enough with the bat either while batting at No. 7. Chopra elaborated:
“Jadeja was not there, so he was certain to play. He will have to bat at No. 7, so there will be expectations of runs, he played one good knock as well, made 46 runs. But other than that, did he score runs every time – no, will he score runs every time – no.”
Ashwin scored 89 runs in his six innings in the three-match series. 46 of those runs came in just one knock in the first innings at the Wanderers.
“Then you will have to pick up wickets” – Aakash Chopra on the fight between Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja
Aakash Chopra pointed out that Ravindra Jadeja will steal a march over Ravichandran Ashwin if the latter does not deliver with the ball in overseas conditions. He explained:
“Then you will have to pick up wickets because that was the fight between Jadeja and Ashwin always. If you have to decide based on batting, then play Jaddu. If you have to decide based on bowling, their performances have been at par.”
While acknowledging that overseas pitches will not assist the spinners much, the 44-year-old added that Ashwin failed to create an impression. Chopra observed:
“I was slightly disappointed. I had a lot of expectations from him that he will do something, that he will contribute a little more, whether it was the Johannesburg or Cape Town pitch. Of course, they are not going to be rank turners but there was no contribution with the ball at all.”
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Aakash Chopra was also critical of Ashwin operating with defensive fields. He added that the captain cannot be blamed for that as the veteran spinner has to take the call.
Q. Should Team India have played an extra batter instead of Ashwin?