Ashwin’s Exploits – Counterview

R Ashwin during his brilliant knock of 91* in the Kolkata Test against England
R Ashwin during his brilliant knock of 91* in the Kolkata Test against England

RAVICHANDRAN ASHWIN – The lone warrior with the bat as England thwart India in yet another one sided encounter. While sensationalism has prompted many to push Ashwin as a potential all-rounder or even as an opener, one question remains unanswered –

Isn’t a bowler supposed to BOWL well before he can contribute with the bat? Aren’t we supposed to rate/judge/respect them accordingly?

No, I’m not against change. I’m not against Ashwin’s development into a much needed and capable all rounder for the team. In fact, this 91 is of vital importance as it saved us from an innings defeat. He showed true character and guarded his wicket till the end of the innings. But he is not an all-rounder folks, are we not thinking? Ashwin is a spin bowler first, any other contribution is secondary and shall remain so for a good period of time. What we must not forget is the fact that Ashwin is not just a spin bowler brought in as a part of the ‘young talent’ campaign of the BCCI. The person we’re discussing is supposed to be the replacement for Bhajji. Yes our very own Turbanator, who seems to have lost interest in the game and despite several efforts, has not been able to find his way back. One is not targetting Ashwin here, but simply explaining how much more he should have and could have done. And yes most of it was his responsibility cos he’s replacing Bhajji, who in his prime, was a reliable strike bowler on topsy-turvy tracks like these.

The situation is such that Ashwin’s early strikes, now might have become the very basis of an Indian victory. And we have every right to rely on him. The pitches have been developed to their liking and the batsmen he bowls to literally ‘crumbled’ in front of the Pakistani spin attack. These are home conditions, and for Ashwin, it simply can’t get better. Had he bowled well, England would’ve tumbled down to around 300 from where India would have surely capitalized. No one is ignoring the brilliant performances put up by the English batsmen. Yes, their willow is a bit more shaped up and sharpened now, but that doesn’t give our front line spin bowlers the right to surrender.

I simply can’t understand, on what basis did Dhoni blame the batsmen? We all saw how the Indian batsmen in both the innings, the English tail in the first innings and the English top order in the fourth innings withered away in a matter of minutes. It was all about getting the early breakthroughs and not letting the batsmen settle. Everyone understands that even a target of 175-200 would’ve been an impossible chase for the English batsmen in the fourth innings. So where did we loose these runs? Actually, the bowlers did. Offering 500 plus runs on such a pitch , is actually the end of the discussion. It tells you how easy it was for the English players, as they cruised through another emphatic win over the Indians in their own fortress- The Eden Gardens.

Now, I’ll say what needs to be said before we forget the importance of ‘duties’. What is the point of scoring a hundred and improving your own personal record thereby cementing your position in the squad, while the team and the entire nation is stung with yet another embarrassing defeat at the hands of the ‘worthy’ Englishmen?  An answer to that, is unavailable and will remain so.  Ravichandran Ashwin must be congratulated on his exploits. But he should know that instead of a hundred to his name , we would appreciate a five wicket haul which would help the team walk out with some respect. You will be an all-rounder some day but for now, we need a  strike bowler who can get us early breakthroughs, at least on pitches with a baby sitter.