Sourav Ganguly has heaped praise on Ravichandran Aswhin, and stated that one doesn’t need rocket science to judge the veteran off-spinner's talent. The BCCI president further added that Ashwin is an all-format player, who can bowl in powerplays and difficult situations for his team.
India recently won a two-match Test series against New Zealand by 1-0 at home, and several players displayed great skills for the hosts during the red-ball series. Shreyas Iyer and Mayank Agarwal stood out with the bat, while Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel spun a web around New Zealand batsmen. Ashwin was very impressive in the series with 14 wickets from two matches, while also making crucial batting contributions in the series opener in Kanpur, which fetched him the ninth Player of the Series award in his Test career.
Ashwin also achieved a few landmarks as he became India’s third-highest wicket-taker in the longest format, surpassing Harbhajan Singh, while also completing 50-plus wickets in a calendar year.
"Everybody speaks about him. Look at Rahul Dravid's statement after the (Kanpur) Test match - he called him an all-time great and one of the biggest match-winners. You don't need rocket science to judge Ashwin's talent. My appreciation just comes from what I see. It may be Ashwin, it may be (Shreyas) Iyer, it may be Rohit (Sharma), it may be Virat (Kohli). And I just say what I see. There is nothing more to it," Ganguly said on the show 'Backstage with Boria'.
Ashwin was a part of India's 2011 ODI World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy winning teams, finishing with eight wickets from five games in the latter competition. The 35-year-old, who won two IPL titles with Chennai Super Kings, was very impressive for the franchise in the challenging powerplay overs during his association with the franchise.
Ganguly opined that Ashwin is an all-format player, who has got the skills to bowl in powerplays and difficult situations for his team.
"I don't see a reason why (I shouldn't back him). Look at the number of winning teams he has been a part of. 2011 World Cup, he was part of the winning team for India. 2013, when he won the Champions Trophy, he was a leading bowler in that tournament. When CSK won IPLs, he was the main bowler for them, bowling in the powerplay and difficult situations,” Ganguly said.
Ashwin has so far scalped 427 wickets from 81 Test matches with a bowling average of 24.12. Ganguly reckoned that the Tamil Nadu-born cricketer is an exceptional Test cricketer.
"Look at his Test record, it is phenomenal. It does not need me to say Ravichandran Ashwin is exceptional. His record and his performances show it. And you can't ignore such players. You cannot just turn your eyes and say that he's gone. I am not surprised with what he is doing,” he concluded.
India will now tour South Africa for three Tests and as many ODIs, with the first Test starting from December 26 in Centurion.