Ashwin is the best DRS bowler in the world, claims John Bracewell

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Ashwin is the best DRS bowler in the world, claims John Bracewell

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SportsCafe Desk

03/11/2017

Former Kiwi spinner John Bracewell has called R Ashwin the most dextrous bowler in the world and has added that the Indian's bowling style helps him get a lot of DRS reviews. The 58-year-old also gave insights about how the game has changed since his playing days.

“Ashwin is a contrasting bowler when you compare him to a Lyon. Both are essentially off-spinners, but Ashwin bowls more in the tramlines, and he gets the ball to skid and drop cleverly. He is very dextrous and is the best DRS bowler in the world because he bowls much straighter and hits the batsmen’s pads pretty regularly,” said Bracewell, reported The Indian Express.

The former New Zealand bowler is currently in India as the coach of the Ireland team who are preparing for the bilateral series against Afghanistan. Talking about Australia's performance in India, the offie reserved special praise for Nathan Lyon, who he claims has improved drastically since his last Indian tour in 2013.

In those days, we would travel in trains, and the tour was generally very chaotic and amateurish.

“Watching Lyon bowl is an incredibly thrilling experience. His style reminded me a lot of myself. He has a clean action, bowls outside off-stump and brings it back into the right-hander. He gets nice loop and has developed an over-spin ball which he uses to good effect,” said Bracewell who claimed 102 wickets in 41 Tests for New Zealand. In those days, we would travel in trains, and the tour was generally very chaotic and amateurish

“Look at him. He is a far more improved and confident bowler than what he was during the 2013 series. The frequent trips to the sub-continent have helped him gain experience and add variety in his bowling.

“Another aspect of his bowling is the subtle manner in which he varies his pace. He can now flight it and even fizz it off the turf almost at will. It just shows the kind of strides he had made as a bowler.”

Bracewell toured India twice in his career - the 1987 World Cup, and the 1988-89 three-match Test series. The 58-year-old said that the globalization of the game has helped the likes of Lyon to succeed in the sub-continent as players now have access to these conditions on a regular basis. He also recalled the cultural difference between the two countries when he first landed on Indian shores.

Sidhu would come off the blocks in a flash, and would belt you around

“I toured India only twice. That’s how much we had managed to tour India in a decade,” he added.

"Like most from our part of the world, touring India was a unique cultural experience, especially because we never used to travel that often. It’s so systematic now. In those days, we would travel in trains, and the tour was generally very chaotic and amateurish."

During his playing days, Bracewell claimed three six-wicket hauls - he said that his 6/51 at the Wankhede in the 1988-89 series was hands down his favorite. 

“That wicket spun viciously. India had a pretty competent spin attack comprising Maninder Singh and Arshad Ayub. Those guys were much different kind of spinners, as they would bowl quicker off the wicket, and would not give much loop to the ball. On the first day of that Test, my captain (John Wright) asked me to ball like them. I politely told him I cannot change my style overnight,” Bracewell recalled. 

When asked about who was the toughest player to bowl to in the Indian team of the 80s, that included the likes of Dilip Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev, Bracewell replied, “(Navjot) Sidhu would come off the blocks in a flash, and would belt you around. The moment you released the ball, he would be halfway down the track, staring at your throat.”

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