Since his comeback from injury in June this year Ravi Ashwin’s bowling performance in all format has been less effective.
Has he recovered enough to play ? or he is trying too many different things in Test cricket in particular. When he returned during the Champions trophy he mentioned he was developing a mystery ball and would unleash it during the tournament. Here is the article read on that –http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/story/1099332.html –
However he performed very badly in Champions Trophy and following limited tour(2 ODIs + 1 T20I) of West Indies.
Coming back to Test cricket – in the ongoing Sri Lanka series he picked 11 wickets @ 31 runs/wkt with strike rate of 59 – these indicators are much higher than what he had performed against Australia earlier this year.
Most of the wickets he picked with new ball were batting error rather – those batters could have avoided or played differently (considering its a new ball). One can understand Virat Kohli’s strategy to finish the game as fast as possible after posting big total. The surface will play a vital role when spinners use the new ball – They tend to bowl flatter trajectory( below eye level) and bowl fastish spin -both orthodox and unorthodox. One hardly sees any spinner flighting the new ball or bowling slowly – The dismissals usually are result of cross batted shots or not reading the length!.
Below table is comparison of the two series phase wise –
Ashwin with new ball is less threatening and expensiveIn the ongoing Sri Lanka series Ashwin bowled 109 overs -of which 29 (28.43 %) were with new ball (The first new ball between 1-20 overs and 2nd new ball after 80th over)
|Against Australia he manage to pick 5 wickets with new ball @2.72 R/o- He bowled 30.70 % of his overs with new ball|
|In Sri Lanka he manage to pick only 2 wickets and went over 4 runs/over, mostly in boundaries.|
|The ball remains fairly new for at least 20 overs -either at the start of an innings or during 2nd new ball. Hence i am using the 0-20 overs (and whenever they decide to take the 2nd new ball + 20 overs)as indicator for my new ball analysis.|
|Here is link of all indicators and their formulas. http://allthatcricket.com/?p=1489|
His ODI performance since his injury return is below par -In 5 ODIs he picked 5 wkts @ 5.04 R/o with Strike rate of 57.60 balls per wicket!.
Below is Ashwin’s gfx based analysis in each phase of 2 test series (featuring wkts and run rate).
All data updated at end of 2nd Ind v Sri Lanka test in Sri Lanka (2017)