Australian batsman Matt Renshaw has admitted spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will be one of the toughest bowlers in India’s four-Test series from February 9. With the Border-Gavaskar series kicking off at Nagpur, much of the focus is on Pat Cummins-led Australia going up against the Indian off-spinner, who made history in 2021 by becoming the first bowler to take 200 wickets from left-handers. With Australia’s batting line-up brimming with left-handers including David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, wicketkeeper Alex Carey and Renshaw himself, Ashwin could prove to be more than a handful for the visitors during the high-profile series.
“Ashwin is hard to get along with. He’s a smart bowler with a lot of variations and he uses them really well, but you get used to him once you’ve faced him for a while,” said 26-year-old Renshaw. by Australian The Singapore Time on Wednesday.
“I think the big challenge of Ashwin and any off-spinner in spinning conditions for a southpaw is the lbw threat.” Renshaw indicated that Australia should be wary of Ashwin’s delivery not running which has caused many LBW redundancies.
“Obviously everyone thinks of the one who turns and catches you slipping, but the big one is the lbw when he doesn’t turn. You just have to be ready.
“I think batting at number 5 for two years has helped me face spin. I know my game a lot better now and feel much more comfortable in different situations,” he added.
Renshaw was part of the side that toured India in 2017, opening the innings in all but one of the four Tests. Ashwin dismissed him once, in the opening test in Pune, but not before Renshaw had scored half a century.
However, the Australian, who would most likely finish No. 5 if given a chance in the XI on the forthcoming tour, was confident his side would be strong challengers.
“We have a strong team and it will be difficult to penetrate, but I know I will be ready if I get the chance.” Renshaw said his stint in the Big Bash League (BBL) with the Brisbane Heat helped him prepare for the series as the squad was full of spinners.
Heat has the likes of leg spinner Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Kuhnemann and Marnus Labuschagne, and Renshaw said he is preparing for the India series with SG balls.
“The SG ball is a little bit different, so we try to prepare as best we can during this BBL schedule when we get a window to hit reds,” said Renshaw.
“It’s a lot of different conditions in India, so we try to replicate them as much as possible. The plan was that if (the Heat) got knocked out, we’d do some prep with the (Australian) team in Sydney, but we just kept win and are now in the (BBL) final.
“We have a good week and a little bit in India for the first test, so there will be plenty of time to prepare there as well,” he added.
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