Ravi Shastri considers current Indian spinners as one of the best spinners ever.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin

Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin can easily fit into India’s best XI ever, according to former India cricketer and current coach Ravi Shastri, and fellow tweaker Ravindra Jadeja is on his way to making the same claim.

Ravichandran Ashwin has already taken 463 Test wickets during his illustrious 12-year international cricket career, and Shastri has no doubt that he ranks among India’s best spinners of all time.

Shastri was speaking with Sanjana Ganesan in the most recent episode of ICC Review, and the former great was all praise for India’s current front-line spinners.

Ravi Shastri said

“I never compare eras, but the record that he (Ashwin) has – especially in Indian conditions – would make him a favourite to get into that (all-time XI) squad,”.

“In Indian conditions he’s something else. I mean, you’ve seen some great spinners in the past. He’s right up there. And the fact that he can get you runs at crucial stages makes all the difference.”

Ravi Shastri also said that Ravindra Jadeja could join Ashwin in the conversation for a place in India’s all-time XI if the 34-year-old experienced all-rounder player can maintain his recent good form with both the bat and the bowling.

Ravindra Jadeja recently achieved his career-best bowling figures (7/42) in the second innings of the second Test against Australia, and two of his three Test centuries have come in the past 12 months.

“He (Jadeja) will start to get the credit (he deserves) now. There’s no question about it,” Shastri declared.

“The last year, year-and-a-half, he’s been simply outstanding because he’s realised his potential. 

“He gives you nothing and it’s a nightmare (for opposition batters). Especially if you’re not in good form, and you are in the opposition as a batsman, you’ll have nightmares. You’ll have Jadeja in your dreams because the guy gives you nothing. 

“If it’s a track where the ball is up and down, he can be even more dangerous than Ashwin. Ashwin anyway has the guy (with his) skill. But here, this guy (Jadeja) can have you on edge because one ball will skip through, one ball will turn, and he gives you nothing. “His accuracy is so good that there are hardly any loose balls on offer.”

In the ICC Review Ravi Shastri said Shubman Gill deserves another chance.

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill

Ravi Shastri pointed to the period during his coaching stint with India as the turning point in Jadeja’s career. The left-handed batsman was then promoted up the batting order and given more freedom to bat with his natural talent.”People, and he himself, didn’t actually realize how good a player he was until he actually got a couple of big scores in Test matches,” Shastri said.

“I remember we pushed him up the order as well to give him that responsibility and he has not looked back. 

“When you see his technique, he plays the ball late, he plays in straight lines and he is just a fabulous cricketer.”

Australia’s stand-in captain Steve Smith is well aware of how much damage India’s spinning strike force can do, especially after Ashwin and Jadeja took all 10 wickets in the second innings in Delhi.

The visitors lost their last eight wickets in that innings en route to a six-wicket loss for 28 runs, but Smith indicated that Australia would adopt a new approach to combat the spin duo in the Third Test.

“They know when they’re on top of you, they’ll try and rush you and they’ll try and play on their terms,” Smith told reporters. 

“When we’re under pressure it’s about just slowing it down as much as we can, making them wait a little bit, walk away and regain your thoughts rather than just coming back and back. 

“It will be different for everyone, the way they handle those moments, but I think it’s finding that in our game and hopefully that applies a bit more pressure back onto them.”

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