Former India opener Aakash Chopra lashed out at off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for not being creative enough on the batting-friendly pitches as he has produced disappointing performances in the first two Tests against England.
Ashwin has picked nine wickets in two Tests at an average of 36.33. He has not managed to get a four-wicket or a five-wicket haul in the series so far. He has been outperformed as a spinner by England's Tom Hartley, who has 14 wickets at an average of 24.57, including a seven-wicket haul in the first Test.
The 46-year-old said that if the opposition attacks the bowler on the flat pitches then the bowler should have to be imaginative.
‘Have to be more imaginative’
"I am with you, actually. If you play too much cricket on extreme spin-friendly pitches continuously, when you go to flat pitches and the opposing team suddenly comes with an aggressive mindset, you have to be more imaginative, which you expect," Chopra asserted while talking on his YouTube channel.
The cricketer-turned-commentator further stated that as Ashwin is on the verge of touching the 500 mark so he has to understand how to bowl on flat pitches.
"Ashwin is standing on the verge of 500 wickets. So you expect that he will understand and manage all these things. However, the truth is that the Ravi of Ravichandran Ashwin hasn't risen in the series thus far. That's probably a combination of being used to mostly playing on turning pitches and Bazball," the right-hand batter added.
The third Test will commence on February 15 in Rajkot while the fourth Test kickstarts in Ranchi on February 23 while the fifth and final Test of the series will be played in Dharamsala from March 7.
The series is currently level 1-1.