R Ashwin is a genius and he has proved why, time and again. The seasoned off-spinner has already taken over 450 wickets in Test cricket and he does not look like stopping any time soon. Every time a team visits India, they have Ashwin on their mind and rightly so. The 36-year-old is already leading the wicket charts in the ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Ashwin took over the wicket chart straight away after the first Test and pipped the Player of the Match Ravindra Jadeja. He further maintained a fair lead over his partner after scalping three wickets in the first two sessions of the first day of the second Test. Ashwin dismissed Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, and Alex Carey to achieve a unique feat. The off-spinner became the second Indian to take 100 wickets in the BGT.
Ashwin also became the only bowler to dismiss Smith on a duck multiple times in Test cricket. While many have tried to decode Ashwin’s tactics and how he manages to take wickets with such consistency, the bowler himself spoke about his thought process in an interview. In the video, Ashwin is seen talking about his methods and then how he watched videos of Steve Smith like a madman to get cues about the batter’s approach.
“A lot of people throughout my life have said that I overthink and I agree. As an individual, I can break these down overthinking into very small fragments. I realize I think about the game like no one does. Lot of people switch off after they have played a game but I keep watching videos of my bowling and clips of how other batters are going about their business, Ashwin is heard saying in the video.
“For example, when Steve Smith came to India and he had that wonderful series in 2016-17, ever since then I watch him like a madman. How he made those runs, what has he done differently, and why am I not catching certain small cues? I think as a bowler what makes me get those wickets are not my skills or just my plans but a very innate understanding of what a batsman is doing at the last moment. I change my bowling according to that,” explains Ashwin.
Now, as Ashwin dismissed Smith for a duck in the first inning of the second Test, the video has started doing the rounds on social media.