Former England spinner Monty Panesar has hailed Ravichandran Ashwin’s cricketing acumen and and expects the Indian off-spinner to pose a tough challenge to the visitors in the five-Test series starting in Rajkot on Nov 9.
Ashwin took 27 wickets during last month’s 3-0 rout of New Zealand as he emerged the quickest to reach 220 Test wickets – in just 39 Tests. There is talk of him reaching 300 wickets before the season ends, with 80 more to get in the remaining 10 home Tests.
"He (Ashwin) said something very interesting that spin bowling is like software and it needs updating every few months, and that's what he has done,” Panesar told the Times of India. “His strength is his cricketing brain.”
Panesar played a key role in England’s 2-1 series win on their prevous tour in 2012.
“It all (depends) on how the spinners bowl. The key batsmen (for me) are (captain Alastair) Cook and (Joe) Root, and I feel the England's fast bowlers have an upper hand over the Indian fast bowlers,” he said.
"One must have the understanding of field placements on different surfaces in India and the pace and trajectory with which to bowl."
“He would help the spinners and fast bowlers as he has experience of playing in India and can help the batsmen prepare against spin bowling too," Panesar said.