Right before the start of the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023, the expectation of the Ashwin – Labuschagne battle has increased as a duel between ‘two of the greatest cricket theorists’.
Marnus Labuschagne Praises Ashwin
No one can refuse the threat of Ashwin’s bowling skill in the Australian dressing room. Aussis believes that Ashwin has skill with knowledge and that thing makes him a unique player.
Ahead of the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023, Australia hired Mahesh Pithiya as their net bowler who bowls similarly to Ashwin.
In an interview with a sports website, Labuschagne admitted being a fan of the way Ashwin thinks about the game and approaches it on the field.
“I think that’s what I like about Ashwin. I think his thoughts about the game, his thinking, the way he manufactures overs, the way he tries to get you out in a certain area. But also the way he might not go to that area early.
So, he might be attacking you on the inside edge for a while and then he’ll bowl that one which he undercuts and slides away and get you caught first slip. He’ll keep mixing it up, where most other bowlers will just try and bowl their best ball.
And if you put them under pressure and combat that best ball, they might go around the wicket. And that’s their only other option, try and shut you down and shut the scoreboard down and work you over. Get you back there,” he said.
Labuschagne had already described his battle with Ashwin as a ‘game of chess’. The Australian star didn’t shy away from highlighting how the Indian bowled ‘negative lines’ when he had arrived Down Under with the Indian team.
“But with Ashwin, it’s more a chess game. He’s willing to bowl ugly, which very few other spin bowlers like to do. He’s willing to bowl ugly to be effective. You saw that in Australia where he just bowled as we could call it in Australia, ‘negative’ lines but it’s great cricket.
You are making the batters not be able to score. You’re tying them down, tying them down. And then what he does great is then he attacks your outside edge off the pressure that he’s built there (like he did at the MCG). But it’s great.
“So when I’m out there, and when we moved to the SCG, Smudge and I played him very well there and we came up with some great options and probably dictated play a little bit more. Rather than him dictating play like he did in the first few games.
Obviously, Adelaide was a little bit of a tough wicket, pink ball, slid on quite sharply. The MCG spun big in the first two sessions. I think the challenge is as much thought as he has put in to coming at me, I know he would have looked at how I swept and knew that when I did something I was sweeping.
I’d have to go away and make sure that when I am sweeping or doing different things in my game, that it’s not predictable and that he can’t read it. That’s made me a better player since our last encounter. And hopefully, that can come through in this series,” he further said on the Ashwin topic.
As far as the 1st Test match is concerned, Australia ended their first innings after scoring 177 runs for 10 wickets loss. Jadeja played a massive role in ending the Aussies’ inning. Jadeja bagged his 11th 5-wicket haul during the process.
At the end of day 1, India scored 77 runs for 1 wicket loss where Rohit Sharma and Ashwin stands at the crease.