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Ravi Shastri sees Ravichandran Ashwin as crucial to Border-Gavaskar series outcome, hails his all-around abilities

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that spin magician Ravichandran Ashwin would be a vital contributor for India in the forthcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Shastri praised the 36-year-old cricketer, saying he is a “complete package” who can influence the series’ outcome.

Importantly, Ashwin is now the second-ranked Men’s Test all-rounder in ICC rankings and can also bat. Ashwin was crucial in the third Test against Australia in Sydney (2021), as he and Hanuma Vihari batted well to preserve India from losing. Hence, Shastri feels that it is not just Ashwin’s bowling but also his batting that may turn the game.

Meanwhile, Ashwin has been advised not to overthink his bowling by the 1983 world champion. Shastri said that the player should keep things simple. “You don’t want Ashwin to over-plan. He is capable of sticking to his ideas since he is a key actor in this situation. His performance might determine the series. “Ashwin comes as a bundle; he will bring you vital runs as well,” Shastri said to Star Sports.

“If Ashwin is on fire, it may determine the series. In most situations, he is world-class, but in Indian situations, he is fatal. Most hitters will be troubled if the ball begins spinning and there is enough bite off the surface. So you don’t want Ashwin to overthink things and try too many different ways. “Just leave it there and let the pitch do the rest, because it does enough in India as it is,” he continued.