One of the heroes of India’s Test series triumph in Australia, Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed that nobody thought he was good enough to dismiss Steve Smith in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
According to the experienced off-spinner, he wanted to prove that he had it in him to compete against the best, irrespective of the conditions.
“There were records that Smith had never got out to spinners in Australia. I wanted to turn that around. A lot of people were talking about who will dismiss Smith. But nobody even gave me a chance. Then, I made sure that people spoke about me at the end of the series.”
I would take 1 wicket in 1 innings of a bowler like Ashwin, if that wicket is Steve Smith. This 1 wicket is definitely better than 3 tail wickets and this is why Ashwin has so much to be credited for us this series. Got Smith out in single digit more than once. No joke. #AUSvIND
— Udit (@udit_buch) January 18, 2021
Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Steve Smith thrice in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The Australian batsman was caught in the slips for 1 in the Adelaide Test, and then for a duck on Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test after he was strangled down the leg side. The third dismissal was after Smith made 81 in Australia’s second innings in Sydney. This time, Ashwin trapped him LBW.
Ravichandran Ashwin added that he was disappointed with the the flak he received over his bowling during the 2018-19 Australia tour, in addition to being constantly compared with his opposite number, Nathan Lyon.
Pointing out that he actually bowled well at Adelaide during the tour, despite a tear in the abdomen, Ravichandran Ashwin added:
“There has been a lot of noise about how I am bowling, and pitting me against someone like Nathan Lyon. During the previous tour in Adelaide, I picked up six wickets and kept on bowling despite a tear in the abdomen. After the match, there was a comparison between us with suggestions of how well Lyon bowled. I felt it was extremely insensitive towards a good performance.”
He further added in this regard:
“So rather than me competing against Lyon, I thought I must be competing against Smith. Lyon is a lovely bowler and I have respect for him. But my focus was on something else.”
LHS ( not = ) RHS !
India tour of OZ 2020/21
Humbled by all the love and support we have received over the last 4 weeks!🙏 pic.twitter.com/nmjC3znglx
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) January 19, 2021
Ravichandran Ashwin finished the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with 12 wickets in three Tests at an average of 28.83. He missed the Gabba Test due to back spasms, having featured in the match-saving partnership with Hanuma Vihari at the SCG.