Former England bowler Graeme Swann has a simple piece of advice to his country’s batsmen when it comes to handling India superstar Ravichandran Ashwin. He believes skipper Joe Root is the best person to tackle the off-spinner, and other batsmen should follow whatever he does.
Ravichandran Ashwin comes into the series in great form. He faces England after having gotten the better of Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith thrice Down Under. Despite missing the last Test, Ashwin finished as India’s second-highest wicket-taker with 12 scalps to his name.
In an interview with Times of India, Graeme Swann explained how the entire team just needs to copy Joe Root if they want to keep Ravichandran Ashwin at bay.
“Root is the best man to handle Ashwin because he has a superb technique against spinners. England batsmen just need to copy what Root does. He is very selective in his shot-making. He plays the sweep shot well and others must just watch Root closely as he is England’s trump card,” Graeme Swann said.
Last time England were in India, Joe Root was dismissed sweeping twice in the last Test.
— Tim Wigmore (@timwig) January 27, 2021
With Jonny Bairstow absent for the first 2 Tests and players like Zak Crawley, Dominic Sibley and Rory Burns touring India for the first time, how the English batsman play spin will be a crucial factor when it comes to deciding the outcome of the series. Joe Root averages 53.09 in India, and the skipper will have to lead from the front this tour.
Ravichandran Ashwin will have his tail up considering how he performed the last time England toured India. The off-spinner finished as the leading wicket-taker of the series, picking up 28 wickets in 5 games.
Saddened to learn about @imjadeja being ruled out from the Test series against #England as he would require more time to recover from the surgery which he underwent after enduring a dislocation in his left thumb during the third Test at SCG. Get well soon #jaddu. #jadeja
— Arun Pandey (@ArunPandey99) January 22, 2021
While Ravichandran Ashwin finished as India’s leading wicket-taker, the man in 2nd place that series will in all likelihood be unavailable against England. Ravindra Jadeja got 26 wickets against England at an average of 25.84 in 2016 but will miss the Test series due to injury.
Previewing the Chennai Tests, Graeme Swann conceded India will miss Jadeja’s bowling in the first two games.
“Chennai’s wicket is usually good for batting on the first three days and then begins to turn square. Jadeja provides massive control at the other end and India will miss him. Having said that, to be honest, I don’t think Ashwin needs someone at the other end to keep England’s batsmen in check.”