Mumbai: India spin legend Erapalli Prasanna lauded Virat Kohli’s leadership qualities, saying that the India skipper’s aggression has helped players like Ravichandran Ashwin shine in the longer version of the game.
Ashwin has been on top form recently, as he picked up 61 wickets from the nine Tests played in India’s ongoing home season. Former India spinner Erapalli Prasanna believes that Kohli’s aggressive style of captaincy has helped Ashwin improve as a bowler in Test cricket.
“The reason of his aggression is Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Virat always remains charged up in every match,” Prasanna was quoted as saying in a sports news portal. “Ashwin is a match winner but any cricketer can be special under Kohli’s captaincy.”
Prasanna, who picked up 189 wickets from 49 Tests, believes that this aggression helps Ashwin bring more sharpness into his bowling. He said, “He is performing superbly right now. I don’t think he requires any kind of tips from me now. Still I want to tell him that keep the basic things right and his aggression adds extra sharpness to his deliveries.”
The 30-year-old tweaker created history last week, as he became the fastest bowler to take 250 wickets, reaching the mark in 45 Tests. He beat legends like Dennis Lillee, Allan Donald, and Waqar Younis, to get to this mark. Despit reaching this momentous landmark, Prasanna still believes that the 30-year-old is yet to reach his prime. He said, “He is slowly moving towards to Everest. He has time, he has many years to come in his career. So I think one day he will match legends like Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan), (Shane) Warne.
“God sent him to win matches for India and he is helped by Jadeja, Jayant Yadav and Mishra. If he can maintain his composure he will surpass everyone very soon,” said Prasanna.
“The main thing about Ashwin’s success is his focus. He analyses his performance regularly and this is the way to be a big match performer. He knows his opponents quite well and upgrades his variations regularly,” he said.
With Ashwin in prime form, India will be looking at their ace spinner to lead the bowling lineup, in their endeavour to take 20 Aussie wickets in their four-Test home series against the side from Down Under.
Prasanna revealed the one weapon in Ashwin’s armoury that could help him bamboozle the Australian batsmen: “Besides his off-spin deliveries, he uses carrom ball which is also his strength. It is really tough to deliver carom balls in matches, but he can do it perfectly. In the upcoming series against Australia, carom ball will be his trump card.”
One criticism that Ashwin (and many other Indian spinners) received is that they lose their teeth, once they go overseas. However, Prasanna believes that the presence of a great former spinner line Anil Kumble as the coach in the Indian dressing room could help Ashwin churn out better performances.
“I think Kumble plays a vital role behind Ashwin’s recent success. If you have a legend like him, then your best will come out automatically,” he said. “I am sure that Kumble will surely help Ashwin to improve his stats on overseas and also in the upcoming series against Australia.”