‘Nathan Lyon is not R Ashwin’: Ian Chappell

Written by Vipin Darwade

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have accounted for 31 of the 40 Australian wickets in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy so far. The off-spinner and the left-arm spinner, together, sneered 15 wickets in the first Test in Nagpur which India won by an innings and 132 runs. In the second Test in Delhi, Ashwin and Jadeja picked up 16.

If it wasn’t for Mohammed Shami’s class in the first innings, where he picked up four wickets, all 20 could have gone to the spin-bowling all-rounders. While it is true that the Australian batters haven’t been at their best, one must also focus on the Ashwin-Jadeja factor. They are simply unstoppable in Indian conditions. They are one of the main reasons why India have not lost a Test series at home for a decade now.

Opposition sides, over the years, have come to India armed with spinners but haven’t quite got the desired success. The current Australian side too has already fielded three finger spinners in the first two Tests. While the great Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy have had their moments in the series, they haven’t been able to run through the long Indian batting line-up like Ashwin and Jadeja.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes Lyon should not try to bowl like Ashwin as he won’t be able to. The Australian off-spinner should instead, try to find success in his own way.

“Too often they (opposition spinners) do try and replicate the skillset (of Aswin and Jadeja). Talking about Ashwin and Jadeja… They know exactly what to do in India. Ashwin is a damn fine bowler, doesn’t matter where he bowls. I’ve seen him bowl in Australia, he bowled extremely well. He is also very smart. He works out exactly what he’s gotta do. Jadeja doesn’t vary too much although he has learned a few things and has improved his bowling but he’s got the skillset that is perfect for India and the two of them work together,” Chappell said on ESPNCricinfo.

Chappell also said that it was Ashwin who bowled better but Jadeja walked away with seven wickets in Australia’s second innings. “In this game, I thought Ashwin bowled bloody well but Jadeja got the seven wickets but that’s the way it happens some days. I don’t think you can come and replicate what they do. Nathan Lyon is not R Ashwin, he’s got to bowl like Nathan Lyon and he has tried to do that,” he added.

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Vipin Darwade