In anticipation of the upcoming series against India, England’s Ben Duckett has praised R Ashwin, acknowledging the veteran spinner as a world-class bowler. Duckett candidly admitted that he wouldn’t be surprised if Ashwin dismissed him during the series, given the spinner’s prowess, especially in home conditions. Ashwin has been a key player for India in Test cricket, amassing 88 wickets in 19 matches against England, with 74 of those wickets coming in India.
Reflecting on his past encounters with Ashwin, Duckett noted that the spinner has previously dismissed him in both matches he played in India. However, Duckett emphasized his growth and maturity as a player since then, becoming a crucial asset for England at the top of the order.
“I’ve played a lot of cricket since then, and maturity is a big one for me in those years,” Ben Duckett remarked. He expressed readiness for the challenges that India’s pitches might present, asserting that he now knows what to expect in those conditions. Duckett acknowledged that struggling against Ashwin in Indian conditions is not an uncommon experience for left-handed batters.
“The biggest thing this time around is that whatever India throws at me, it’s not going to be a shock. I’ve played on those kinds of pitches. I know full well what to expect when I get out there. I wasn’t the last left-hander to struggle out there in those conditions against Ashwin. He’s so good everywhere,” Ben Duckett stated.
While acknowledging Ashwin’s bowling prowess, Duckett remained confident and committed to backing himself in Indian conditions. He anticipated that Ashwin might get him out again but emphasized that he has developed the confidence to play on both good and flatter pitches without feeling compelled to play aggressive shots or sweep every ball.
“I’m sure he’s going to get me out again; he’s a world-class bowler. But I would back myself now on a good pitch or a flatter pitch to not feel like I have to play aggressive shots or sweep every ball. If those pitches are spinning, and with the way this team has played over the last 18 months, I know what my strengths are, and I’m certainly not going to die wondering,” Ben Duckett affirmed.