Besides tweeting a video of them bundling India out for 36 in Adelaide in the build-up to the first Test in Nagpur, Australia also had invited over a net bowler with an action uncannily similar to that of Ashwin.
While just a couple of more days are left for the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, it has already become a trending topic across the social media platforms. Even as Cricket Australia is leaving no stone unturned in creating hype for the highly-anticipated series, veteran India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is also not lagging behind on that front.
Also Read: From special pitches to Ashwin’s duplicate, how Aussies are preparing for Tests
Since the news of the Aussies practising against an Ashwin doppleganger broke, the cricketer has become the talk of the town. Recently, the 36-year-old bowler previewed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on his YouTube channel where he addressed Australia’s pre-series antics.
The Australian side has been going through their final preparatory phase for the Nagpur Test at the KSCA ground in Alur, Bangalore. There, the visiting side chose to practise on custom-made slower wickets to get familiar with Indian conditions. They also assigned Maheesh Pithiya — a young bowler from Baroda — as their net bowler as the spinner’s bowling action is quite similar to Ashwin’s. Cricket Australia itself shared the news on Twitter.
Referring to the topic, Ashwin noted, “Mahesh Pithiya, who recently made his debut for Baroda, also bowled quite effectively for them. But they presented his news in a way that immediately went viral. They have been quite successful at making stories go viral for a long time and know just how to achieve it.”
During the session, Ashwin also referred to the remark by former Aussie cricketer Ian Healy who said earlier that Australia have a chance to perform well in the series if India prepares a ‘fair wicket’. The legendary wicketkeeper also cleared the fact that if a rank-turner is made then it will be a major challenge for the visitors.
Taking Healy’s comment into account, Ashwin said that the ex-cricketer shelled out the statement as he was aware of “which statement will become viral and controversial.” For example, the India spinner explained, “We are aware of the template, right? A Thala-Thalapathy film with a family-friendly theme, five songs, five fights, two emotional scenes, a powerful climax, and a strong opening scene will be a massive hit.” In the end, he further took a dig at the social media team of Cricket Australia saying, “They know what news will get them traction.”
Whenever Australia have travelled to India for a series, their major concern has remained the slower tracks and India spinners. They came here for a Test series last time in 2017 when the hosts bagged the four-match series 2-1. Ashwin was a crucial component of the Indian unit and wrapped up the assignment as the second-highest wicket-taker with 22 scalps.
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