Ravichandran Ashwin is on the verge of a significant milestone in Test cricket but former England cricket star Kevin Pietersen suggested that the pursuit might have impacted his recent performance. Ashwin is well poised at 499 Test wickets, just one short of joining the exclusive 500 club. It is also a feat currently achieved solely by Anil Kumble among Indian bowlers. However, Pietersen expressed the view that the spinner's pursuit may have influenced his bowling in India's recent Test against England.
Despite facing scrutiny, India's remarkable performance in the second Test demonstrated the team's resilience. Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, the hosts delivered a commanding display, with rising stars Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill impressing with the bat. Furthermore, Jasprit Bumrah's exceptional pace bowling reaffirmed his position as one of the top pacers in international cricket. Meanwhile, experienced spinner Ashwin, while not reaching the milestone, made a significant contribution with three wickets in the second innings.
"Ashwin was just chasing milestone. That's why he didn't bowl as well as he could have bowled. He did get it right on occasion. I thought he was way more threatening bowling wider outside off-stump around the wicket. I think he bowled over the wicket way too much to the right-handers. He can change bowling over-bowling around-bowling over more. I'm certainly never going to say that he hasn't got it or the England bowlers have found him out. He is a tremendous bowler and he's got some big breakthroughs. It is about the team; it's not about the individual. He will want one more wicket and when he gets that maybe you'll see him a lot more relaxed, the shoulder drops and I can just now get on with the game," Pietersen said as quoted by NDTV Sports.
India leveled the series after the second Test
In an enthralling battle between bat and ball, India's bowlers emerged triumphant, securing a compelling 106-run victory over England in the second Test. The match, marked by its fluctuations, began Day 4 with England at 67 for one, pursuing a challenging target of 399 runs. However, their aggressive batting approach, often referred to as 'Bazball', faltered against India's resilient bowling unit.
Despite England's determined effort, they were dismissed for 292 during the extended afternoon session. India's spirited display enabled them to claim nine crucial wickets across two sessions, leveling the five-match series at 1-1. For India, it was star India pacer, Jasprit Bumrah who wreaked havoc claiming nine wickets in the game including a brilliant 6/45 in the first innings. Bumrah was even adjourned Player of the Match for his brilliant bowling effort.