Dinesh Karthik has thrown his weight behind R Ashwin and stated that he's an absolute legend of the game, with the criticism around his SENA displays unfair. He also added that in overseas conditions, the pace bowlers have done a great job and that reduces the role of a spinner to bowling tightly.
Ace Indian spinner R Ashwin had played a big role in India's series win over Australia, picking crucial wickets, and enhancing his reputation in overseas conditions. However, his track record in challenging SENA conditions, like most of the other spinners, hasn't been prolific. And recently, Sanjay Manjrekar suggested that the Indian spinner cannot be termed an all-time great given he has never taken a five-for in SENA countries, a statement that has opened up an intense debate regarding Ashwin's credentials as a spinner, especially among the experts of the game.
Weighing on the topic, Dinesh Karthik, who has played a lot of cricket alongside R Ashwin for Tamil Nadu and India, suggested that the criticism around the offie's SENA performances isn't fair, and reckoned that, many times, a spinner's role is reduced to bowling tightly when you have got some quality pacers to take wickets on away tours.
"When it comes to Ashwin, a lot of things have been said about his performances in SENA continues. I think it's a tad bit unfair. Even if you see the way he has bowled in Australia, the pressure he has been able to create and his ability to get good batsmen out." Karthik told Sports Today.
"You have to understand the quality of pace bowlers we have. When we go abroad, they tend to pick up a lot of wickets. A spinner's role, a lot of times, especially when the pitch doesn't do much is to not give too many runs and Ashwin does it brilliantly well. When it comes to playing in India, we have seen the wickets he picks, he is an absolute legend in India and he has put up so many performances and won more Man of the Series Awards for India than anybody else in such a short time."
The KKR wicketkeeper-batsman further highlighted that humans tend to always find some chink or the other even if the person concerned has many favourable qualities.
"When there are so many things to speak in favour of him, human beings, being human beings, focus on something that he has not done. I think what he has provided when India has toured abroad. He has not been able to take the five-fors but he has been able to pick up wickets, bowling long spells and keep it tight."
Karthik also asserted that Ashwin is one of the most self-aware players and pretty well knows what his team requires from him. The seasoned campaigner also applauded Ashwin's batting abilities and said that he's one of the best no.8s in the world.
"As an opposition, you look at Ashwin and always think he is a guy whom we need to play carefully. He is not a random bloke who just turns up, he will have a plan, he knows what he is doing and gives you a lot with the bat at No. 8. He is probably one of the better No. 8s going around. For me, he is a fighter, a very skilled cricketer and a student of the game who wants to keep improving. He will know what this Indian team requires from him when they travel abroad and I think he will try and fulfil that role to his best," he added.