The Indian side managed to script an incredible comeback in the second Test to square the four-match Test series 1-1 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG). Led by an inspired performance by stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane with the bat, India thrashed the Aussies by 8 wickets in the second Test.
Apart from Rahane’s heroics and the impressive debut of Shubman Gill, another talking point has been the way India’s star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has managed to tie down Australian batting legend Steve Smith. In the 4 innings that Smith has played in this series thus far, he has managed to aggregate just 10 runs, and averages a paltry 3.33 in the Test series.
Ashwin has had Smith’s number, picking the Australian batsman cheaply in two out of the three innings he has been dismissed. While in the first innings of the first Test, Ashwin had Smith edging the ball to Rahane at slip, the Aussie legend was dismissed by Ashwin yet again when he was caught at leg gully by Cheteshwar Pujara in the second Test at Melbourne.
Former Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar has declared that Ashwin has come out as the winner thus far between these two world-class players.
“In the first Test, Smith got out to an arm ball or you can call it a straighter one which Ashwin releases differently. An off-spinner bowls a straighter one which skids off the surface when fingers are not on top of the ball,” Sachin Tendulkar said as quoted by Scroll.in.
“In the second Test, it was not a slider but fingers were on top of the ball which produced bounce and turn. Steve Smith played a normal flick to a regulation off-break that any batsman does by instinct and the fielder was brilliantly placed there.”
Both are world-class players: Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar also opined that both Ashwin and Smith are world-class players, but Ashwin has come out the winner thus far.
“It was a well-planned ball and wicket by Ashwin. Both are class players, so someone is going to have a better day and so far, Ashwin has come out a winner in the first two Tests.”
In the first two Tests, Smith has failed to rise to the occasion, and that has surely impacted the Aussies. Smith is their batting talisman, and his failures will indeed be a cause of concern for the hosts. On the other hand, India will be hoping that they can continue to tie down Steve Smith just like how they have done in the first two Tests. And, needless to say, Ashwin would once again be looking to have Smith’s number.
There is everything to play for in the third Test for these two sides, with the series on the line. And, Smith will desperately be looking to get some runs under his belt in the New Year’s Test in Sydney that starts on January 7th, 2021.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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