R Ashwin couldn’t have wished for a better outing against England as the off-spinner picked four scalps on the first day of the first Test match.
When India last toured England in 2014, just like most of his teammates, Ashwin also struggled in adapting the foreign conditions as he could only pick three wickets in two Test matches.
However, the story is different this time as Ashwin picked four wickets giving away 60 runs on the first day of the first Test match which saw England collapse on 285 for nine on day 1.
Ashwin’s performance in Edgbaston is the best by any Indian spinner on the first day of the series in England. His four-fer stands on fourth position overall but he is the first Indian spinner to achieve this feat in England.
What makes Ashwin’s performance special?
The pitch at Edgbaston is moist, it favours pacers more and spinners barely get any assistance.
Virat’s decision to bring in Ashwin before 10 overs raised many eyebrows as the pitch is not meant to favour the spinners. However, Ashwin did the job with a hard new Dukes ball and dismissed Alastair Cook.
Kohli ran quietly as Ashwin extended his dominance over left-handers in Test cricket.
Record of Indian spinner outside Asia (On Day 1 of Test series)
6/94- B. Chandrashekhar against New Zealand, 1976
5/55- Bishan Singh Bedi against Australia, 1978
5/84- Anil Kumble against Australia, 2007
4/60- R Ashwin against England, 2018
Ashwin gets Cook for the 8th time:
The 31-year bowler dismissed Cook in his third ball of the second over and this was the 8th time that Ashwin took the wicket of Alaistar Cook in Test cricket.
Social media hailed Ashwin’s delivery and called it the ‘ball of the millenium’.
Batsman dismissed most often by Ashwin in Tests:
— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) August 1, 2018
Turn on the first morning and a gorgeous ball from Ashwin. Dream delivery for an off-spinner to a leftie.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 1, 2018
Ashwin got rid of Cook with a peach…but considering the number of overs Ashwin has bowled in the first session of the Test, playing another spinner wouldn’t have been a bad choice. #EngvInd
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 1, 2018
Apart from Cook, Ashwin dismissed Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Stuart Broad to restrict the hosts in Birmingham on Day 1.
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