File photo of Ravi Shastri© BCCI
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy is around the corner with the first match starting in Nagpur on Thursday. It is a contest of the top two teams in ICC Test rankings with a spot in the final of the World Test Championship in line. Spin is likely to play a great role in the contest and Ravichandran Ashwin‘s performance will be crucial for Team India, feels former coach Ravi Shastri. Ashwin needs one more wicket to complete 450 Test scalps and once again, the veteran spinner will be primed to work his wonders.
Shastri, however, has a word of advice for Ashwin. “One thing you don’t want for him is to over-plan. He is good enough doing what he is. Sticking to that. He is a real crucial player here. His form will decide the series. Because Ashwin is a package not just with the ball, he will get some important runs as well. If he is on fire on both departments, that might well decide the outcome of the series. He is world class in most conditions. But in Indian conditions he can be lethal. If the ball is spinning and biting the dust, he has enough up the sleeves to trouble the batters. But you don’t want him to over-think and try too many things,” the former India cricketer said in an interaction organised by Star Sports.
“Just keep it there and let the pitch do the rest because it does a lot in India.”
Shashtri added that he prefers Kuldeep to be the third spinner ahead of Axar Patel.
“As far as the other spinner goes, I would like to see Kuldeep playing. You have got Ravindra Jadeja, Axar and him are pretty similar. Also, if you lose the toss and want the ball to spin then. if there is anyone who can spin the ball on day 1 it will be Kuldeep. If the track has not too much to offer, he can come into play. Also, roughs will be created with the Australian pacers bowling. He can take advantage,” Shastri said.
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