Ravichandran Ashwin may have had a huge role in instilling self doubt in England batsmen but his spin partner Ravindra Jadeja on Monday said it has also got a lot to do with which team is dominating the proceedings.
However, Jadeja did have a wisecrack without taking Moeen Ali’s name, who tormented India in England in 2014 with 19 victims.
“Hum jab England gaye the tab toh unke spinners bhi aise lag raha tha ki Muralitharan ball daal raha hain. (When we went to England, even their spinners looked like Muralitharan is bowling),” he said, referring to Moeen Ali, as everyone around had a good laugh.
Ashwin is only the third Indian cricketer to have scored 500 runs and taken 50 wickets in a single season.
Asked if Ashwin threat is working in the minds of England top-order, Jadeja said: “In Test cricket, a lot depends on situation. If a team has upper hand, obviously the opposition will struggle. In my opinion, if a team has upperhand, that particular team’s batsmen as well as bowlers would look more dangerous.”
When Jonny Bairstow was asked the same question about Ashwin winning a mind game over Alastair Cook, he was quick to defend his captain.
“First of all, Cook’s gone onto to the top-10 of the most runs scored by any Test batsman. So I don’t think there is much problem from his end. He has scored a heck of a lot of runs over a heck of a long period of time against any attack in the world,” said Bairstow.
But Bairstow did praise Ashwin, terming him someone who has lot of tricks up his sleeve but also made it clear that they are not in awe of the Indian off-spinner.
“Look Ashwin is a quality bowler. He is a bowler who has got a lot of tricks and lot of variations. He varies his pace really well, his trajectory is different at all times. So at some point you got to give credit to the bowler as well.
“Yeah he (Ashwin) is bowling nicely but it’s not that he has got 10-for in every innings he has played against or things like that so as unit he is just as Yadav. Yadav has got wickets too, Jadeja has got wickets so we treat him as the same way like we do to every other bowler that we come across,” said Bairstow.