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R Ashwin and the pursuit to bury the ghosts of Johannesburg

December 22, 2013, Johannesburg, India pinned their hopes on Ravichandran Ashwin to spin them to victory on a relatively deteriorated surface. The guests, for context, had set a target of 458 fourth runs and had capped South Africa at 138/2 by the end of Day 4.

Alviro Petersen and Faf du Plessis are on a rough patch but India is confident that they can cross the line. Not only because such a total has actually never been driven down in the rainbow nation, but also because they have Ashwin in their ranks who is considered the largest on the planet.

Day 5 started with India buzzing around characters in the gypsy world. They tried to pressure the Proteas but found their efforts thwarted. Du Plessis, in particular, seemed intent on repeating his Adelaide heroics and starting off early, meaning that even when Jacques Kallis and Petersen set off, he barely had to raise an eyebrow.

By the end of the second session, however, things got a little interesting. South Africa advances to 331/4, with AB de Villiers and du Plessis are on track to produce two of the best hits ever played by South African smashers in the longest format.

On the other end of the spectrum is Ashwin, who has had to compete since the second half of Day 4 and has nothing to show for his efforts. He’s not bad at bowling. He was on the field to respond to his pitch and caused some problems. But it’s not nearly enough to cause a crash and make people believe that he’s actually the best spinner in the world.

A similar stroke is applied up to the last ball of the Test, i.e. India and South Africa, despite exchanging shots during Day 5, they had to end in a draw. At the time, both teams expressed conflicting emotions, and rightfully so.

India feel that they have missed out on a big opportunity, while Proteas feel that they could win from a draw if they were a little more proactive.

Pressure is on the veteran to turn the situation around
Pressure is on the veteran to turn the situation around

However, neither of them felt as depressed as Ashwin. Not only has his reputation been battered, but he has also had to deal with the fact that he failed to help India win – perhaps for the first time in his career and certainly for the first time in his career. hope to reach such a climax.

As a result of that match, there is common ground that Ashwin is unlikely to be a real match winner for India overseas (namely the SENA nations). It was followed by relatively enticing travels to Australia and the UK, which meant that that argument also carried a lot of weight.

There have been several instances where India required their first choice spinner to appear overseas. But he can’t. For every surrender he instigated at Nagpur and Vishakhapatnam, there’s a carefree outing and a sense of what could happen in Centurion and Southampton (both in 2018). In fact, it was not until recently that Ashwin began to change his perception.

A good run against Australia Down Under was quickly followed by an exceptional performance in the final of the ICC World Test Championship – performances on which Ashwin depended more than just on appearances. . Instead, he uses air to beat hitters and get the pitch out of the equation as much as possible.

So from that particular point of view, Ashwin is probably in the best possible condition to shoot India to win an exam in a SENA country. Not only did he find the right combination to pose the problem, he also seemed to take his pre-match planning and understanding of the game to the next level.

So another audition as the world’s best cameraman in Johannesburg looks like it’s on the way, doesn’t it?

Ashwin has a chance to set consecutive records

This time, like it happened in 2013, there were no offers for Ashwin. But as he illustrated in Keegan Petersen’s sacking, there was just enough to keep him interested and to tempt India to keep realistic expectations from the losers.

Other than that, the pitch, which was exposed to the sun during yesterday’s game time, will have a few more cracks that will open – cracks that can bring different questions and push him like A bigger threat, look closely at how well he delivers for the stump.

In particular, Rassie van der Dussen has a tendency to pass the ball with his low hand – which can make short legs and slips come into play if there’s a little more bounce. Dean Elgaron the other hand, was off-spinner six times in the Cricket Test – the most of any bowler in the format.

However, the Indian may have to rewrite a bit of history if he becomes the man in charge of South Africa’s shipwreck work. Ashwin has bowled 60 rounds at Wanderers during his Trials career and has a single stick – that of Petersen on Day 3 of the ongoing game. He only bowled seven girls, hinting that he couldn’t really create pressure either.

So there are important ghosts that he must bury at Wanderers, not only for his sake but also for the Indian cricket team. Thankfully for the guests, Ashwin seems to be the individual who will find a way to remove the only stain on what was previously a fine and relatively spotless career.

Years ago, when India boomed in South Africa, MS Dhoni (who was captain at the time), wished Ashwin would come back and shoot a web site like he usually does at home. KL Rahul might not have high hopes for that, although he does want the veteran to open the game at key moments.

There can be a situation where the tempo controller does most of the work and makes the camera work redundant. But if Ashwin is called upon, he should be willing to remove the only asterisk left on his record.

Life really has cyclical coincidences, doesn’t it?


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Aila Slisco

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