The curious case of R Ashwin: Does off-spinner get enough respect? Sledging Room, Ep 60

In the realm of Test cricket, few bowlers have left an indelible mark like Ravichandran Ashwin. Since his debut in 2011, Ashwin has evolved into one of the most successful off-spinners of his time. With a remarkable ability to take wickets across various conditions and a batting prowess that complements his bowling skills, Ashwin’s records speak volumes about his impact on the game.

Ashwin’s Test career has been nothing short of extraordinary. With an astonishing tally of 486 wickets in just 93 Tests, he stands among a select group of bowlers to have achieved this milestone. Maintaining an impressive average of 23.61, Ashwin has consistently troubled batsmen with his skillful spin and subtle variations. His extraordinary feat includes an impressive count of 34 five-wicket hauls, testifying to his ability to dismantle opposition line-ups.

One of Ashwin’s defining characteristics is his versatility on different pitches. Whether it’s exploiting spin-friendly tracks or creating trouble on surfaces that offer minimal assistance to spinners, Ashwin has repeatedly showcased his adaptability. His ability to extract turn and bounce from any kind of wicket puts immense pressure on batsmen, making him a true match-winner for his team. Ashwin’s contributions with the bat are not to be overlooked either. With 3129 runs to his name at an average of 26.97, he has proven himself as a genuine all-rounder. Often rescuing his team from challenging situations, Ashwin’s five centuries showcase his ability to balance patience and aggression. His valuable runs down the order have turned the tide in India’s favor on numerous occasions, making him a vital asset to the team.

Ashwin was not played for the WTC final which India lost but he came back into the side with 12 wickets in an emphatic victory over West Indies. Ashwin was also ignored for the Test matches in England back in 2021.

Does the world’s best Test bowler not deserve automatic selection across conditions?

The Sledging Room’s latest episode addresses the curious case of R Ashwin and looks at several other factors in Indian cricket after their victory in the first Test in Dominica.

Meanwhile, how long will England carry James Anderson. The veteran pacer was left out of the third Ashes Test but is back in the playing XI for the fourth Test in Manchester.

Akshay Ramesh and Saurabh Kumar join Rajarshi Gupta in the latest episode of the Sledging Room!

Produced by Anna Priyadarshini

Sound mix by Kapil Dev Singh

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