Coming in support of his fellow off-spinner Ravi Ashwin, Graeme Swann has cited the batting-friendly conditions in England as the reason for Ashwin’s failure away from home. However, adding that he does not get as much recognition away from home, Swann applauded Ashwin’s efforts around the world.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s rapid rise in World cricket came at a cost, people having a microscopic view of his performance both at home and away. Whilst he has not given the critics a ray of hope with his performance at home, where he has picked up 254 wickets at an average of 22.8, his away form hasn’t been the same. In the recent past, Ashwin has struggled with his off-spin in New Zealand and England, two of the harshest conditions for spinners.
In England, the Tamil Nadu spinner has returns of 14/461 in nine innings, at an average of 32.92. However, according to former English spinner Graeme Swann, the off-spinner does not get the credit he deserves. Swann also pointed out at the lush batting-wickets in England, which has dampened the off-spinner’s figures away from home.
“In England or Australia, the whole game is different. In India, there is less bounce and more spin. So there is a bigger margin of error for him. He doesn’t necessarily need a bigger margin of error, but Indian captains can control the pace of the Test match in India, making him extremely effective. He has struggled in England because the conditions are more batting-friendly while facing spin,” Swann said in an interview timesofindia.com.
Swann also recollected Ashwin’s performance in 2018, at Birmingham where the 33-year-old spinner picked up seven English wickets in two innings. While England came away with a 31-run victory, Ashwin’s performance away from home earned him a few fans and critics. However, the Northampton-born spinner admitted that he had a brief period in Ashwin’s career where he didn’t like the Indian spinner when he started bowling leg-spinners.
“When he came to England in 2018, he bowled beautifully in the first Test. But he had an injury before the Southampton Test and wasn’t able to finish his action. To be honest, he is a much better bowler than people give him credit for in English conditions. He doesn’t need to do a lot different. I just didn’t like it when he started bowling leg-spinners for a brief period.”