Ravichandran Ashwin finds himself on the brink of a historic milestone in Test cricket, but former England cricket star Kevin Pietersen suggested that the pursuit may have influenced his recent performance. Ashwin stands at 499 Test wickets, tantalisingly close to joining the exclusive 500 club, currently occupied solely by Anil Kumble among Indian bowlers. However, Pietersen opined that the spinner’s quest may have affected his bowling during India’s recent Test against England.
Despite this scrutiny, India’s dominant display in the second Test showcased the team’s resilience. Led by Rohit Sharma, the hosts orchestrated a commanding performance, with emerging talents Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill shining brightly with the bat. Additionally, Jasprit Bumrah’s stellar pace bowling underscored his status as one of the premier pacers in world cricket. Meanwhile, veteran spinner Ashwin, despite falling short of the milestone, contributed significantly with three wickets in the second innings.
“Ashwin was just chasing milestone. That’s why he didn’t bowl as well as he could have bowled. He did get it right on occasions. I thought he was way more threatening bowling wider outside off-stump round the wicket. I think he bowled over the wicket way too much to the right-handers. He can change bowling over-bowling around-bowling over more,” Pietersen said as quoted by NDTV Sports.
“I’m certainly never going to say that he hasn’t got it or the England bowlers have found him out. He is a tremendous bowler and he’s got some big breakthroughs. It is about the team; it’s not about the individual. He will want one more wicket and when he gets that may you’ll see him a lot more relaxed, the shoulder drops and I can just now get on with the game,” he added.
Indian bowlers wreak havoc on Day 4 of second Test
In a gripping battle of bat versus ball, India’s bowlers emerged victorious, as they secured a compelling 106-run win over England in the second Test. The match, characterised by its ups and downs, saw England commencing Day 4 at 67 for one, aiming for a daunting target of 399 runs. However, their aggressive batting approach, often termed ‘Bazball’, faltered against India‘s resilient bowling attack. Despite England’s valiant effort, they were dismissed for 292 in the extended afternoon session. India’s spirited performance saw them claim nine crucial wickets across two sessions, levelling the five-match series 1-1.