Monaco: Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh has described off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as the ‘Don Bradman of bowling’ and said that he is the player the Australian team would need to overcome during its upcoming tour of India.
Set to play a four-Test series against India starting on February 23 in Pune, Waugh felt the Australian team would have to keep calm under pressure and find ways to deal with Ashwin’s bowling.
Heaping praise on the Indian off-spinner, Waugh said: “The way he is playing at the moment, he is going to break a number of records. Ashwin’s statistics are just mindboggling.”
The 51-year-old legendary batsman said that it would be a difficult series for Australia as India are a very settled side and Virat Kohli’s captaincy is contagious.
“India are playing very well at the moment and are a very settled side. Everyone is very comfortable in their roles. They are also playing a lot at home. It is very hard to beat them at home and that has been proved in the last couple of years,” said Waugh during an interaction before the start of the Laureus Worlds Sports Awards.
“Virat Kohli’s leadership is also very contagious. The Indian players feel positive and they feel they can do anything. It seems that the new Team India can achieve anything,” he added.
Waugh, however, felt that writing off the Australian team, as Sourav Ganguly had recently said, would be completely “foolish”.
“We have the potential to change our side after the first two Tests. If we do well in the first Test, we may spring a surprise. We might also be able to provide an upset,” insisted Waugh.
“The senior players need to do well and that is going to be a challenge in the opening Test. We have some match winners in our team. Sourav’s been a bit optimistic there.”
Waugh said he could not understand why Australia’s recent performances in overseas series had been so dismal.
“We always used to enjoy playing overseas earlier as there is less pressure as you are away from the home crowd, family, friends and the media. And you can relax.”