Cricket

Ravichandran Ashwin Lays Into SG Ball After India’s Record Win

It took India just about two and half days to batter the visiting Windies team into submission and register their biggest innings win in Test cricket. The first Test of the two-match series was not even a contest at any point of the match and much of the same can be expected in the final Test at Hyderabad, starting October 12. In the Windies first innings, Ravichandran Ashwin was India’s star man with the ball, registering figures of four for 37 in his 11 overs. In the second innings, however, Kuldeep Yadav grabbed the headlines with his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket with Ashwin managing a return of 2/71. Despite India’s comprehensive win and his own good showing, the lanky off-spinner was not completely satisfied.

Speaking after the innings and 272-run win, Ashwin slammed the ‘SG’ ball that was used during the Test.

“It’s a fair amount of difference Kuldeep is talking about, adapting to the SG, Kookaburra and Dukes.”

“The Kookaburra white ball seam is a lot more narrow these days, doesn’t swing much and doesn’t grip as well. That’s where the adaptation is very important, we didn’t get much time to do that. Right now I would say Kookaburra red ball is a lot better ball, Dukes is also right up there. Pretty disappointed with the current SG ball. It used to be top-notch, the seam used to stand up strong even after 70-80 overs. It’s not the same anymore,” said Ashwin.

The 32-year-old made his comments after spin partner, Kuldeep Yadav, had praised the ‘Kookaburra’ red ball and dubbed the ‘SG’ as “okay”.

“It’s very difficult to bowl with the red ball straightaway when you are coming from white ball cricket. Sometimes it takes time to adjust. Kookaburra red ball is good to grip. SG is okay at the moment,” Kuldeep had said after his heroics in the second innings.

Meanwhile, Ashwin, with his 332nd wicket, surpassed South African great Alan Donald in the list of most wicket-takers in Test history. Ashwin took a total of six wickets in the match and now has 333 Test wickets — fourth highest Indian Test wicket-taker, behind Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan Singh (417).

The off-spinner is 24th overall in the list of highest wicket-takers in Test history and seventh in the list of most Test wickets by spinners.