CA Chairman's XI v Indians, Canberra, 2nd day December 20, 2011

Ashwin steps up preparation ahead of Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff
77

R Ashwin, who was the most effective of India's bowlers on day two of the tour match against the CA Chairman's XI in Canberra, has said that he has worked on his strategy ahead of the Test series.

"You have to spin it; for the few days of a Test, I don't expect the ball to turn," Ashwin told PTI. "It has to be in the air [have flight], and later [in the Test you can] exploit the rough. For the left-handers you attack the stumps and for the right-hander bowl outside the off-stump."

"I have been speaking to a few umpires and they say it spins on day four and five. But I have to look at the match as a whole, keep spinning and flighting the ball, and hoping the batsmen would attack me. Later, probably, if I could sit down with Shane Warne and chat with him [it would help]."

Ashwin picked up four of the seven wickets the Indians claimed on the second day, while reducing the Chairman's XI to 215 for 7. He said that he had expected the batsmen to be more aggressive against him. "I was very surprised that they were not attacking me. I bowled a few bad balls, I wasn't hit for a six. I am always prepared to be hit for a few sixes anyway."

His victims included centurion Ed Cowan, Phillip Hughes, Tom Cooper and Alex Doolan. He particularly enjoyed Doolan's dismissal, he said. "It [the delivery] didn't have much of spin but it just bounced a bit more. The catch belonged to Ajinkya Rahane … I haven't seen such a good catch for a long time." Doolan was caught at forward short leg for a duck.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 23, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    naresh ive watched two yearss back but question is where is that guy but still we have 2 quicks aaron and yadavbowls at 150 and ishant can also touch problem is fitness also selection committe banglorians might feel bad but truth is vinay mithun are club bowler plz selectors come out of zonal biasness we have talent in india just pick quicks not ganguly type bowlers

  • zenboomerang on December 23, 2011, 1:23 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas... Not sure what you are worried about... The pitch in Canberra is no better than the ABField ground... Expect the MCG to have more grass & higher humidity - this will assist bowlers from both teams - so it will be up to how the batters handle the pitch... Raining Sat & Sun... Then 1st day morning showers cloudy, Tues afternoon showers cloudy, Wed cloudy clearing... Seamers for first 2-3 days...

  • Naresh28 on December 22, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    @invincibles - instead of just taking on Kohli, India should play both Rohit and Kohli as they are both in form. One of the big three should left out. This will also improve the fielding standard. The question is who? @apoorv - check out this Indian fast pacer - hope India can groom him to take India to higher levels on fast pace department. Here is the link:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zMsCoXEFGk

  • VishyRules on December 22, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    Ashwin will have definitely a part to play in the series if India are to win it.It will be a real test for him alien conditions which I guess he will manage fine.

    Regarding talks about Rahul Sharma he will get his chance.Poor lad Ashwin earned his chance after being sidelined for a long time coz of Bhajji's presence.He deserves a fair run before anyone can actually replace him.

  • Invincibless on December 22, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    @t20superstars, Rohit and Kohli are not fighting anymore, Kohli already won the race.. he is inn...

  • on December 22, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas : chill, man..The sole purpose of a practice match is to help the players adjust to the local conditions and warm up..Be happy that both zak and ishant are fit to play the 1st match.They will look different once the match starts..

  • VishyRules on December 22, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    How funny. Laxman should be dropped making way for Rohit sharma? you can't be serious? Yeah,Rohit is talented and he seems to be in a good niche but I don't think he deserves a test spot just like that given his attitude to throw the wickets away.We have seen it hell lot of ODIs in the past except the recent 6 months or so.If there is someone who had been given overwhelming chances in the recent times citing "Talent", "Potential" etc then it should be him.

    And Laxman should be dropped? India can better cancel the Oz tour and come back.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 22, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Don't know if that's what we have got in our bowling. If the tour games are any indication of what we have, then I just feel sorry for our batsmen. It's going to be a huge uphill task for our team to take 20 wickets or put pressure on their batsmen even if we score huge by batting first. Signs are not good at all.....

  • GobbleUpCricket on December 22, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    India is in a dilemma. Dravid at 3 may be the best thing going on for India atm but not necessarily the best XI. The best XI, in my humble opinion, is for Dravid to open, VVS at 3 ( VVS has done well at 3 ) and for both the in form Rohit and Kohli in the XI and see how VVS performs in 2 innings. It is plain obvious that Ghambir is struggling ; has been for a while. If VVS struggles against the hard red ball at 3, then depending on how well Rohit and Kohli performs, either drop VVS or one of them. With both ZK and Ishant's fitness being suspect, I would have ZK, Umesh , Ashwin and Ojha for bowlers and perhaps use Kohli and Rohit in hold up roles.

  • AnandSathiyamurthy on December 22, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    Of course Ashwin is a fantastic bowler... But i dont know why he revealing the secrets before the series begin.. He should show it in action instead of showing it in words.

  • on December 23, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    naresh ive watched two yearss back but question is where is that guy but still we have 2 quicks aaron and yadavbowls at 150 and ishant can also touch problem is fitness also selection committe banglorians might feel bad but truth is vinay mithun are club bowler plz selectors come out of zonal biasness we have talent in india just pick quicks not ganguly type bowlers

  • zenboomerang on December 23, 2011, 1:23 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas... Not sure what you are worried about... The pitch in Canberra is no better than the ABField ground... Expect the MCG to have more grass & higher humidity - this will assist bowlers from both teams - so it will be up to how the batters handle the pitch... Raining Sat & Sun... Then 1st day morning showers cloudy, Tues afternoon showers cloudy, Wed cloudy clearing... Seamers for first 2-3 days...

  • Naresh28 on December 22, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    @invincibles - instead of just taking on Kohli, India should play both Rohit and Kohli as they are both in form. One of the big three should left out. This will also improve the fielding standard. The question is who? @apoorv - check out this Indian fast pacer - hope India can groom him to take India to higher levels on fast pace department. Here is the link:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zMsCoXEFGk

  • VishyRules on December 22, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    Ashwin will have definitely a part to play in the series if India are to win it.It will be a real test for him alien conditions which I guess he will manage fine.

    Regarding talks about Rahul Sharma he will get his chance.Poor lad Ashwin earned his chance after being sidelined for a long time coz of Bhajji's presence.He deserves a fair run before anyone can actually replace him.

  • Invincibless on December 22, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    @t20superstars, Rohit and Kohli are not fighting anymore, Kohli already won the race.. he is inn...

  • on December 22, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas : chill, man..The sole purpose of a practice match is to help the players adjust to the local conditions and warm up..Be happy that both zak and ishant are fit to play the 1st match.They will look different once the match starts..

  • VishyRules on December 22, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    How funny. Laxman should be dropped making way for Rohit sharma? you can't be serious? Yeah,Rohit is talented and he seems to be in a good niche but I don't think he deserves a test spot just like that given his attitude to throw the wickets away.We have seen it hell lot of ODIs in the past except the recent 6 months or so.If there is someone who had been given overwhelming chances in the recent times citing "Talent", "Potential" etc then it should be him.

    And Laxman should be dropped? India can better cancel the Oz tour and come back.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 22, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Don't know if that's what we have got in our bowling. If the tour games are any indication of what we have, then I just feel sorry for our batsmen. It's going to be a huge uphill task for our team to take 20 wickets or put pressure on their batsmen even if we score huge by batting first. Signs are not good at all.....

  • GobbleUpCricket on December 22, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    India is in a dilemma. Dravid at 3 may be the best thing going on for India atm but not necessarily the best XI. The best XI, in my humble opinion, is for Dravid to open, VVS at 3 ( VVS has done well at 3 ) and for both the in form Rohit and Kohli in the XI and see how VVS performs in 2 innings. It is plain obvious that Ghambir is struggling ; has been for a while. If VVS struggles against the hard red ball at 3, then depending on how well Rohit and Kohli performs, either drop VVS or one of them. With both ZK and Ishant's fitness being suspect, I would have ZK, Umesh , Ashwin and Ojha for bowlers and perhaps use Kohli and Rohit in hold up roles.

  • AnandSathiyamurthy on December 22, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    Of course Ashwin is a fantastic bowler... But i dont know why he revealing the secrets before the series begin.. He should show it in action instead of showing it in words.

  • on December 22, 2011, 2:50 GMT

    nish8738 bro wehave three bowls at that pace good for austrlain aaron injured he is fastest and reverses and nampally just come out of zonal biasenesss vinay in nowaynear praveen or philander he is a truddler 16 match 17 wickets allmatches goes for 6 runs one match got 4 wickets three were tailenders 16 matches only one match goes below 6 runs evenbangladeshi bowler are little better

  • freo75 on December 22, 2011, 1:21 GMT

    Two mediocre sides that should have a close battle this summer. I suspect it will only go to show that both these teams are streets behind England and South Africa. For what its worth, I cant see India taking 10 wickets, but I cant see Australia getting past 300 either so something is going to have to give!

  • Nampally on December 22, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    @Raghav Karthik: I would prefer Ishant, ZAK & Yadev as Indian seamers but both ZAK & Ishant are unfit & likely to breakdown in the middle of the test. Thus India will be reduced to just one seamer.Ishant must be dropped. He is unfit.Hence from the remaining 2, Vinay is better. Then India can either risk playing with ZAK or go with 2 FIT spinners & no ZAK. I would play with 11 fit guys than having 2 unfit guys. It is sad situation created by poor Selection of the squad Bowlers. As regards Rohit & Kohli, they are both in good form & both are excellent fielders. Dravid & Tendulkar cannot be dropped neither can Gambhir & Sehwag. So 2 out of VVS, Virat & Rohit have to be chosen. I gave my preference. It is left up to Dhoni & the Selectors to decide.Rahul Sharma is the most under rated guy for his talents - ideally suited for the Aussie pitches.His omission from the squad was a shock to me!.These are my opinions. You have every right to disagree with me.

  • on December 22, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    RandyOZ . Talk is cheap, Warner is a poor Shewag clone,The Aussies could not even slaughter the black caps in their own back yard, no Bucknor playing for Australia either.

  • serious-am-i on December 21, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    @RandyOz: let the series begin we will see who smacks who.

  • Vadlamudi_sp on December 21, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    All Depends of Sehwag and Ishant.

  • Nish8738 on December 21, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    @randyoz your best attack was when you had mcgrath,warne,gillespie and LEE none of them are playing in test cricket now. India has the best batting attack. gambhir,sehwag,dravid,sachin,laxman all average near 50. Bad news for you is we have two bowlers who can bowl 148+ in india imagine what they can bowl in AUS. :) it will be a good contest ishant vs punter!! can't wait

  • Nish8738 on December 21, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    about 2-3 months ago there was nobody good enough to take ganguly's spot at number 6 now u have kohli,rohit,pujara,Ikpathan,raina(somewhat) scoring tons of runs to take that position now that yuvi has failed to do so. Ashwin shud do well against the aussies. I still feel they shudve taken irfan pathan as an all rounder which india really needs. he can bowl with banana swing and bat as well. what else do you want. mithun has done nothing at all to be playing for india!!

  • kenishah on December 21, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    i tink sreesant shoud be brought bak cos he can swing the ball quite a bit lik we saw in eng so he could trouble the aus batsman and maybe tak a wicket or 2 also i tink irfan should be brought bak 2 the team as well cos he can really swing the ball. my 11 for boxing day would be: 1) sehwag 2) gambhir 3) dravid 4) tendulkar 5) laxman 6) kohli 7) dhoni 8) ashwin 9) irfan 10) zaheer 11) sreesanth

    by the way im only 11 and i can select such a gud team unlik the indian selecters

  • Raj12345 on December 21, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    @Ankit Harish. Past is past. Please look at VVS latest scores on 3 series WI,Eng,WI . Where he scored. He scored only in India. it is time to drop VVS and include Rohit. Rohit can score same or more runs than VVS. More ever if VVS on field, then we always have 10 fielders. That is main reason he is been dropped from ODI. Horrible, misses all slip catches.

    I am surprised, no one talks about Rahane failures. He can save his place, only if he can make friendship with Dhoni & Raina. Whack anyone remember Pujara. Poor fellow. All his hard work is gone. Any one is there to offer him deserved chance in test.

  • t20superstars on December 21, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    they shouldnt have played rahane in the 2nd innings...dhoni should have opened with kohli and rohit sharma as these two are the ones who are fighting for their spot in the team....

  • on December 21, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    @Nampally Some of your arguments are valid and debatable. 1.Vinay Kumar-Well,a strict no-no.If you are a military pacer in the 120's and low 130's you need to have a good consistent line.The likes of Praveen,Philander and Sammy have this,Vinay doesn't. 2.VVS Laxman-Somewhat agree with you.We need to drop one of the big 3 for the near future and he seems the likely candidate,but let him have a go against the Aussies.He is really feared by them and his record speaks for itself. 3.Rahul Sharma-Completely agree with you on him.He is a wicket to wicket bowler who can get bounce and give the ball a rip.If Aussies can groom Lyon who had an ordinary FC record,why not India with Rahul Sharma?

  • rahulcricket007 on December 21, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    after looking on ashwin's bowling i must say rahul deserves a place in the squad . maybe bcci send him as a cover for ishant .

  • RandyOZ on December 21, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Indian bowling attack was again pathetic today in Canberra. Dave Warner is gonna enjoy spanking these guys all over the MCG. Worst bowling lineup to land on Aussie shores in ages, and yes I include Bangladesh!

  • crikcinfo on December 21, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    @Naresh28: You are hilarious..!!

  • on December 21, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    Agree with u Nampally, Rahul Sharma deserves a look in,the aussies haven't faced good spin with conviction and that should be India's counter strategy, considering that Zak and Ishant are fitness suspect and the rest of the fast bowling attack is inexperienced in aussie conditions

  • on December 21, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    @Nampally: Is it possible for you to write shorter comments? I don't think I've ever gone beyond your first line.

  • on December 21, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    @RandyOZ: Aus has a good attack, but don't you think you're taking it a bit too far by calling it the best bowling attack on earth? Compare Cummins,Pattinson,Harris,Siddle to Steyn,Philander,Morkel,Tsotsobe. I think it's rather evident which is the better bowling line up here!

  • BozoSri on December 21, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Ashwin is a smart and level headed bowler, unlike Harbajan, who is impulsive and reactive. Ashwin is not a reactive bowler and should be a good contest between him and some Australian batsmen especially in Sydney and Adelaide. And he is far more likely to be effective as a spinner in bouncy conditions then any other spinner in the Indian team , as he is tall and uses variation and bounce and just not entirely depends upon spin. That is why Anil kumble was a effective spinner away from India. I expect Ashwin to rise to the challenge in much the same way.

  • on December 21, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    @RandyOz; Oh ya, best bowling on the earth ! and who features in it, Hilfy, Strac and Lyon ! oh ... man I feel you. They are being led by Clarke, and if that it not enough Mickey the master of choking is a coach ! You will struggle to find words once the boxing day test starts. Merry Christmas... ho ho ho

  • Naresh28 on December 21, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    I am sure Ishant,Yadev,Zaks and Ashwin will form the bowling for India. I still feel Rohit should play in place of Sachin. Both Kholi and Rohit should play because their form is good. Its hard on Sachin but the master needs to rest for this one and play next three. India should plan the next series properly - fast bowlers are injury prone so why not carry additional pace bowler. The second wicketkeeper should be Robin Uthappa. Irfan pathan shoule be the allrounder. Carry the extra player on overseas trips.

  • rahulcricket007 on December 21, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    Rahane has proved that he can only scores in ranji matches or in flat tracks . third faliure in a row . that 60+ avg in ranji is now looking a joke to me .

  • zenboomerang on December 21, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    @Nampally... The Canberra wicket was a week old at the end of the 2nd match... Also all our grounds are irrigated - so no brown grass, except on a prepared wicket... England won last summer on the same grounds you will be playing on & the seamers were the destroyers... The best spinner in the world (Swann) hardly got into any of the matches... Over 5 Tests he bowled 219 overs, 15 wkts for 546 runs @36.4... A poor achievemnet from a bowler against a floundering opposition...

  • ssenthil on December 21, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    The Final Day of the practice match has thrown some surprise to me. Rohit promoted to No.4 and batted well and shown his consistency once again while Ishant Sharma bowled 4 overs. That is a good news and proof that he still not un-fit and I hope he is Fully Fit and can bowl well in the Boxing day Test. So the line up more or less clear that India will field the top 4 bowlers bowled today and the only spot remain to be sealed is No.6 but knowing Dhoni it's going to be Virat.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on December 21, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    I would suggest 4 fast bowlers ZAK, Ishant, Umesh and Vinay. Because, ZAK and Ishant coming back from injury and in the worst case India have to depend on young Umesh. So better include Vinay too and let Viru, Sachin, Rohit bowl in short spells.

  • on December 21, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    @RandyOZ ..yeah we did saw Stumps being rattled of the Aussie batsman during 47 all out and also in 2nd test against NZ ...

  • jonesy2 on December 21, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    ashwin is their key. considering they have just been carved up to 100 for none by hughes and ussie in theory cowan, warner, marsh (if fit), ponting, clarke and huss should have a good time.

  • ssenthil on December 21, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    So India had a good practice match. Indian line up for Boxing day Test would be, ........ 1. G Gambhir, 2. V Sehwag, 3. R Dravid, 4. S Tendulkar, 5. VVS Laxman, 6. V Kohli, 7. MS Dhoni, 8. R Ashwin, 9. Z Khan, 10. I Sharma, 11. U Yadav. I really feel Rohit is hard done, he is excellent and form of his life and very much consistent and still going to miss out, I would select Rohit ahead of Virat for Tests and in ODI vice versa but Dhoni will select Virat ahead of Rohit for both. IF Ishant Sharma is not fully fit/recovered I would like to go with P Ojha rather then A Mithun or V Kumar for Boxing day. I believe Zak just not aiming to take wickets but just bowling to prove his fitness alone. He will come good as soon as the Test match starts. All the best to Team India for Boxing day test.

  • Prasant_NSW on December 21, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    @RandyOZ! Day dreamer.. You are gonna watch AuSSie losing again ingloriously when the batsmen are beaten to their blues. coz in recent past Aus are missing their team mates so much that hhey always want to see them together so prefering to Bowl rather than batting.. lol....

  • Rahul_78 on December 21, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    It is very, very important for Ashwin to step up and be an attacking option for MSD. Even though it is bit unfair on the offie who is touring there for the first time as even legendary Kumble too strugled to make a impact on OZ tour till his last one out there. Since Indian is carrying injury prone green fast bowling attack, they need to ignore the conditions and play to there strength that is spin. If fast bowlers injuries continue then MSD might have to play with Ashwin and Ojha both...this tour is certainly going to test the characters of both the Indian spinners as the conditions and rampant OZ crowd will be against them and Clarke and co will come after them for sure to unsettle them from the start. Cant wait for the battle to begin.

  • on December 21, 2011, 3:46 GMT

    randy ozzz ha halolzzz signs of think to come looking like afraid end of australia this series by india bet

  • Bang_La on December 21, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    Indian-soiled hero Shewag has already shown he may fall "sick/injured" soon :)

  • maddy20 on December 21, 2011, 3:00 GMT

    Good to see Ashwin doing well. My bowling combo for the game would be Vinay, Ashwin, Zaheer and Umesh yadav. I just hope they don't pick Ishant, fit or not he is a liability! @RandyOZ Don't get cocky mate! When the time comes your rookies will take a hammering at the hands of our veterans, and don't expect Kohli, ROhit and Gambhir to take it easy on you.

  • on December 21, 2011, 2:31 GMT

    Does Ashwin flick his offies or bowl orthodox offies? I admire his apparent ability to bowl flicked leggies. Very difficult. As an old flicking offie myself, I can vouch for this! But flicked offie does have a nasty in-swerve at the death, if bowled well. And sharp bounce. Might be a useful extra weapon for Ravichandran Ashwin.

  • Parsuram on December 21, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    Ashwin is a very improved bowler and the great feature of his bowling is that he is willing to flight the ball and experiment with different deliveries. I expect this Indian outfit to give a good account of themselves. The batting is in capable hands an a batting line up that reads Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Kohli, Laxman and Dhoni is going to severely test the Australian bowlers. The Indian bowling is stronger with Zaheer, and with support from Ishant, Ashwin and Yadav the Aussies will have a tough time . I expect a close series. Maybe this is the last chance for Tendulkkar, Dravid and Laxman to win a test series in Australia. Go for it Team India!

  • here2rock on December 21, 2011, 1:05 GMT

    I don't understand why bowlers need to discuss their strategies on the web for the coming series. I thought they will keep it a secret and unleash it on the day when it really matters.

  • iphone1 on December 21, 2011, 0:55 GMT

    @Randy Oz, pretty ambitious comments mate. I am sure I wont be able to witness your emotions if the contrary happens !!!! lol. But if you think beating India is a stroll in the park do so at your own risk.

  • peterss on December 21, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    Ashwin and Kohli have cemented the only spots available for contention ahead of ojha and Rohit. Openers look extremely out of form in all the 4 innings of practice matches. Rahane needs to be dropped from the squad in the next series. He doesnt look a part. Not scoring in all the practice matches. Mukund can be picked instead. In this series, Sehwag should be dropped if he fails in the first 2 tests. Dravid should be forced to open, without a choice since the reserve opener is hopless. Rohit should then play instead of sehwag.

  • Vnott on December 21, 2011, 0:29 GMT

    Ashwin will do well. He is the best prospect India has seen since Kumble. However he should not openly discuss his plans with the media. One of the key things is the surprise element which definitely exists in this tour. I expect Umesh and Ashwin to do well. Shd be a close series with both teams regrouping....

  • Meety on December 21, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    @Nampally - drop Laxman? Yes please! LOL! He is the batsmen Oz fear the MOST! One of the big 3 legends need to step down soon, & VVS is the least decorated of the Laxman/Dravid/SRT trio, but I think he is a must against Oz. Sehwag gets a lot of plaudits for his cross bat strokes, but to me, Laxman is the best player of pace in the team. (I base that on the ability to score rapidly or defend combined). @ Chris_P - agree 100%, which is why I think Ashwin MAY do well. He seems to say the right things.

  • Meety on December 21, 2011, 0:08 GMT

    @Nampally - mate, Manuka Oval has very litle in common with the grounds that will be played on in this test series. Whilst it would be a fair assumption to say "...grass is drying up..." - it is actually not true as Oz is experiencing (on the Eastern Seaboard) a cooler & wetter than ave Summer. I would imagine the SCG at the very least to be a nasty green wicket. For India, on the positive side cooler weather usually means the pitch won't harden up as much & can take some pace & bounce out. Also - when was the last time a Leggie took a lot of wickets against Oz in Oz? You'd have to go back to Qadir in the mid-80s (didn't include the Great Kumble, as he was more of a medium pace top spinner than a Leggie). I am impressed with Ashwin, but Oz batsmen (traditionally) slaughter spinners in Oz. It's a fallacy to think that because Oz don't play spinners well in INDIA, that they play them poorly in Oz, just ask Murali!

  • YoBro on December 20, 2011, 23:22 GMT

    @RandyOZ: 47 all out ring any bells? No? How about the 2nd innings slip up against a famed Black Cap attack led by Doug Bracewell (don't even know if I got his name right)? Keep drinkin' the cool aid; you're in denial.

  • LillianThomson on December 20, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    Ashwin got smacked all over the park in his first spell and only returned decent figures due to three late wickets. Meanwhile Zaheer Khan looked like a 33 year old medium pacer who has only bowled 30 overs in the last six months - which is exactly what he is. Presumably Dhoni will stand up to the wicket when keeping against Zaheer after the new ball loses its shine, like Saleem Yousaf used to with Wasim Akram when he had his groin strain in the West Indies in 87-88. What happens next will depend upon the courage of the Australian selectors. If they go in with 1) Cowan 2) Warner 3) Watson 4) Clarke 5) Ponting 6) Christian 7) Haddin then India's bowlers are going to really struggle. But if they pick BOTH Ponting AND Hussey then they open the door for India.

  • on December 20, 2011, 23:07 GMT

    @Nampally I don't think you even understand the game for if you did you would have never asked for Laxman's exclusion especially in Australia...In fact his record in Australi has been such that I would have 6 Laxman's in the line up if that were possible....

  • RandyOZ on December 20, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    He's bowling ok now but expect every Indian bowler to get slaughtered by out batsmen. The best bowling attack on Earth will then rattle their stumps all day!

  • on December 20, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    Anyone suggesting Dravid as an opener is asking for it, let me warn:) , leave the poor guy alone, will you?

  • Zahidsaltin on December 20, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    Present Australian batting line has no self confidence and every one except Clarck is under pressure. Be it Hussy, Ponting or Khawaja, all are out of touch. Ashwin will find it much easier, I'm sure

  • on December 20, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    Come on ashwin its tym to show aussies how spin bowling tastes :-P Ashwin is the one for the future !! Cool headed,never say die attitude and alot of variations and an aggressive spinner who can bat soo many elegant drives.

    If a batsman hits him for a six ashwin wont mind he will get the batsman in the next ball thats called tactics and his brain is full of it

    kohli and ashwin have a great attitude with aggressive nature and cool minded and both play their game very maturedly

    i see kohli and ashwin can became gud contenders for the captainship if they play in the same way in years to come

    ipl rockss we got manyy hidden talents unleashed like kohli,umeshbyadav,varun aaron,dinda,ashwin ,jadeja otherwise india could have never got umesh yadav or aaron in indian team we would be seeing same munaf uncle and nehra .

  • on December 20, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    I had my doubts before ashwin made his debut about him becoming a world class bowler.But since then he really has impressed me.when I see him bowl I ask myself how could this be so intelligent amongst all the other spinners in india.he is always trying to outthink the batters.and he is a handy no.8 to have in your side

  • Chris_P on December 20, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    @nampally. Huh? We are just coming off the wettest year for over 50 years and you say the pitches are drying up? For a period of about 12 years, the SCG favoured spin in the mid 80's, otherwise, in all the time I have followed cricklet here and attended games (and still playing), pitches here never favoured spinners, even when Warne was around. Still not convinced? Have a look of the list of bowlers who have taken 200 wickets in the past 30 years, you will only see MacGill & Warne amongs a plethitude of quick bowlers. Bounce is the spinners main weapon here, and some spin on day 4 or 5, sometimes.

  • ssenthil on December 20, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    @G.Sri, I agree with you, Only blind mans will believe a bowler with a FC avg of over 45 with ball in Indian condition is a good Spinner. You have to spin and turn the ball in FC and Test cricket to pick wickets. Arm-Chair experts always believe otherwise!!! I agree about the Pitch given for practice definitely an eye-wash else why should the Aussies batsman going for a swing friendly condition camp???

  • nyc_missile on December 20, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    @Nampally- you normally make very valid arguments, but the one to drop Laxman is pretty illogical because no matter his form, Laxman almost always performs against Aus not just due to the challenging nature of the contest but because as he himself admitted, due to the true bounce and pace of the pitches there which suits his style.If anything,he is a liability on swinging tracks (Eng&NZ) where his record is pathetic.I would say drop gambhir if he doesnt step up adequately and play Sehwag & Dravid as openers bringing in both Rohit & Kohli into the mix ,they are too good to be put in cold storage at this moment. Also Vinay might actually surprise us given he is essentially a swing bowler as I have now lost hopes on Zaheer as well after his yesterdays effort.We need fit and strong Yadav,Ashwin,Vinay & Ojha if run out of primary pace options..

  • kitten on December 20, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Could it be possible that ZK is playing games? I have a slight feeling that it may be a tactical move by the Indians to not disclose too much of Zaheer's varieties in his bowling. I hope I am right, and he is a different bowler in the test match, or else India will be taken to the cleaners, what with Ishant also nursing an injury. Ashwin will have to start bowling from the first morning itself. We'll wait and see.

  • Nampally on December 20, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    @G.Sri: Between the first & second friendly matches both on the same ground,the pace bowlers got just 4 out of 17 wkts compared to 12 of the spinners. It is a clear indication of the pitch slowing down & less humid conditions. The bounce will remain but there will be less moisture in the wkt. to minimize seaming. This is what I was referring to. There was a lot of media hype- based on NZ series where huge swing & seaming was extracted by all pacers- I saw the matcheslive on my PC. As for Rahul Sharma, he bowls much faster Leg breaks - like Chandrashekher( India), Benaud or Warne(Australia). Rahul also has lot of bounce similar to Ashwin's. Knowing the Aussie weakness against wristy leg spinners, he would have been an ideal & effective bowler.If I were an Indian Selector I would not hesitate to put him in the XI, especially on spin friendly Sydney pitch. India needs to exploit the Aussie weaknesses rather than dance to media's tune.All fuss over Ishant can be cut by change of tactics.

  • hunksurat on December 20, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Ashwin is good no doubt about that. But I think he has lot to prove yet. Only team he has played against is WI and that too in India. In Australia it might be a entirely a different ball game. I think though he should be the first choice. In pace department we dont really have a choice. Yadav, Zak and Vinay/Mithun (both of them suck). We are going to miss likes of Ishant, Nehra and may be Irfan...... Hopefully we avoid embarrassment this time around. I am keeping my fingers crossed. No 4-0 please

  • on December 20, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    @nampally u wanna drop laxman!!!!! come on man

  • on December 20, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    @nampally...dude hang on...wat u said????vinay kumar????i can bet u he will not have a long career....he is not a complete pacer....c'mon...123Kmph...afridi bowls his arm balls dis much fast.....where is the pace???okie u negate the pace with swing...but if only one swings out of 6 then wats the use??batsmen dn play guessing game for too long...they will thrash him to pieces and rahul sharma???wat made u feel he is right person for the present conditions??c'mon...just two ODI's that too against WI...and u feel he deserves a test cap??Sorry mate....he does not....and for those who are worried abt zak...remember "great players deliver at the right time"...let the match begin....first punch on this boxing day will be..Waner Lbw Zaheer-0 or if hughes play...C (who ever is standing at first slip) b who ever bowls the first over

  • Kaze on December 20, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    Ashwin will get smacked in the Tests, they are letting him feel like he is decent on this pitch on the test track he will struggle.

  • VickGower on December 20, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    Was it REALLY necessary for Ashwin to lay out his strategy in acute detail?

  • on December 20, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    @Buster Broker. Oh yeah.. Look who is talking! All you Aussie fans are singing praises of some Lyon (Whatever)! And don't have admiring words for a spinner as talented as Ashwin? Mark my words, this going to b Ashwin's series. 10 years ago,in absence of legendary Kumble, a young spinner named Harbhajan Singh debuted,and in the same series in 2001, jolted the Aussie batting lineup. Mark my words, Ashwin is going to be a bigger star than him.

  • Srini_Indian on December 20, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    @Nampally: Are you kidding? Rahul Sharma is a good limited overs bowler. With the quick flatter delivery as your wicket taking option, you can't play tests. Don't get carried away with dry track in Canberra. It might be a strategy from Australia to not give India any practice in green tops. In Ashes last year, both Melbourne and Sydney had live green grass on it.

  • on December 20, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    Good note that amesh and umesh yadav (last match) played up to expectations, wot happened to zak ?? none @4.1 per over

  • vivekjagan on December 20, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    ashwin has to learn a lot and should be threatening ...aftr anil kumble we need a spinner who can take wickets at all positions and pitches ...

  • Nampally on December 20, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    I believe all Media hype about the Aussie pitches being pace & swing friendly is not correct at this time of the year.The green grass is drying up and the series will give better results to the spinners. In the 2nd friendly at Canberra the pitch did not help the pacers at all. The CA Chairman spinner took 6 wkts. whilst the Indian spinners took 5 wkts - that is 12 out of 17 wkts going to spinners. India should focus on playing 2 spinners + 2 seamers combo. ZAK is still not fit. Go with Vinay & Yadev in pace & with Ashwin & Ojha in spin. India has the best chance with this combo. Rahul Sharma would have been the best Indian bowler under present conditions. I also feel Pattinson & Starc can be thrashed by Sehwag, if he stays at the crease for ONE FULL session. India should focus on patiently seeing the new ball off.With Kohli & Rohit in form, India should play them both & drop Laxman, till he finds his form. Go with the current form rather than dictated by past record or media hype.

  • Srini_Indian on December 20, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    Way to go, Ash!! The best spinner in the planet, right now!! No doubt, he'd bring jitters in Australian dressing room!!

  • on December 20, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    Ashwin has got ATTITUDE and to become Legendary like Warne he needs to be modest and learn more tricks in the offering along with improvements in running & fielding! Ashwin let your bowling talk & stick to basics , you have way lot to achieve!

  • Maddy_Venki on December 20, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    If Ashwin can get the length on these Aussie pitches the bounce is something that he can use to very good effect. Let's hope he delivers like he did against WI albeit against a much much stronger opposition.

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  • Maddy_Venki on December 20, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    If Ashwin can get the length on these Aussie pitches the bounce is something that he can use to very good effect. Let's hope he delivers like he did against WI albeit against a much much stronger opposition.

  • on December 20, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    Ashwin has got ATTITUDE and to become Legendary like Warne he needs to be modest and learn more tricks in the offering along with improvements in running & fielding! Ashwin let your bowling talk & stick to basics , you have way lot to achieve!

  • Srini_Indian on December 20, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    Way to go, Ash!! The best spinner in the planet, right now!! No doubt, he'd bring jitters in Australian dressing room!!

  • Nampally on December 20, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    I believe all Media hype about the Aussie pitches being pace & swing friendly is not correct at this time of the year.The green grass is drying up and the series will give better results to the spinners. In the 2nd friendly at Canberra the pitch did not help the pacers at all. The CA Chairman spinner took 6 wkts. whilst the Indian spinners took 5 wkts - that is 12 out of 17 wkts going to spinners. India should focus on playing 2 spinners + 2 seamers combo. ZAK is still not fit. Go with Vinay & Yadev in pace & with Ashwin & Ojha in spin. India has the best chance with this combo. Rahul Sharma would have been the best Indian bowler under present conditions. I also feel Pattinson & Starc can be thrashed by Sehwag, if he stays at the crease for ONE FULL session. India should focus on patiently seeing the new ball off.With Kohli & Rohit in form, India should play them both & drop Laxman, till he finds his form. Go with the current form rather than dictated by past record or media hype.

  • vivekjagan on December 20, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    ashwin has to learn a lot and should be threatening ...aftr anil kumble we need a spinner who can take wickets at all positions and pitches ...

  • on December 20, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    Good note that amesh and umesh yadav (last match) played up to expectations, wot happened to zak ?? none @4.1 per over

  • Srini_Indian on December 20, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    @Nampally: Are you kidding? Rahul Sharma is a good limited overs bowler. With the quick flatter delivery as your wicket taking option, you can't play tests. Don't get carried away with dry track in Canberra. It might be a strategy from Australia to not give India any practice in green tops. In Ashes last year, both Melbourne and Sydney had live green grass on it.

  • on December 20, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    @Buster Broker. Oh yeah.. Look who is talking! All you Aussie fans are singing praises of some Lyon (Whatever)! And don't have admiring words for a spinner as talented as Ashwin? Mark my words, this going to b Ashwin's series. 10 years ago,in absence of legendary Kumble, a young spinner named Harbhajan Singh debuted,and in the same series in 2001, jolted the Aussie batting lineup. Mark my words, Ashwin is going to be a bigger star than him.

  • VickGower on December 20, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    Was it REALLY necessary for Ashwin to lay out his strategy in acute detail?

  • Kaze on December 20, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    Ashwin will get smacked in the Tests, they are letting him feel like he is decent on this pitch on the test track he will struggle.