IND vs AUS: Usman Khawaja reckons R Ashwin is a
Image Source: Twitter

IND vs AUS: Usman Khawaja reckons R Ashwin is a “gun” bowler and handling him in India vs Australia test series would be key: It took a while to build the chatter around the most-anticipated India vs Australia test series in 2023, but it’s now slowly picking its pace as a number of people, including experts, former cricketers and even current players, have started to give their opinions on the marquee series, which starts on February 9 (Thursday) in Nagpur.

So far the talks and discussions mostly have been around the Indian pitches which are often conducive to spin bowling. The Aussies have also hired an Ashwin’s doppelganger in Mahesh Pithiya to tackle the tricky variations of Ravichandran Ashwin in the forthcoming series.

Notably, R Ashwin boasts a mind-boggling figure against Australia in the traditional format of cricket. The Indian spinner has scalped a total of 89 wickets in 18 test games, of which 50 wickets have come in home conditions including five five-fors.

Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja, the Australian left-arm batter, during an interaction with Sydney Herald, called Ashwin a “gun” bowler, but his team is ready for the upcoming challenge in India and is sure of passing it with flying colours.

“Ashwin is a gun. He’s very skilful, he’s got a lot of tricky little variations, he uses the crease quite well too,” said Usman Khawaja to Sydney Herald.

IND vs AUS: Usman Khawaja reckons R Ashwin is a "gun" bowler and handling him in India vs Australia test series would be key
Australian Test team practicing ahead of the 1st India vs Australia (IND vs AUS) test in Nagpur | Image Source: Twitter

The entire Australian test batting lineup will be under scrutiny against the likes of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel on the spinning surfaces.

“The wicket’s going to turn here [in India] at some point, whether day one, day three or day four and he [Ashwin] is going to be in the game and bowl a lot of overs. So it’s all about figuring out how I’m going to play against him, how I’m going to score runs against him, what he might do. If you bat a long time against him, he’s going to change his game plans against you,” said Khawaja when asked how he looks forward to beating the challenge.

The Pakistan-born left-handed cricketer is hopeful to score some runs for his team through the course of four match series against India in the turning conditions.

“He’s not the kind of guy who’ll do the same thing over and over, he’s going to try to work you out. So I’m looking forward to it. Four Test matches is a long time, so hopefully, I can do alright and score runs for my team.”

He added that it’s going to be a fun challenge for him and his teammates to find certain ways to score runs against the Indian bowlers in the test series, which will be held in Nagpur, Delhi, Dharmshala and Ahmedabad respectively.

“But you know what, it’s always fun. Subcontinent, playing against spin is some of the most fun you’ll have in terms of finding a way to get in and score runs, it’s quite rewarding,” Khawaja further stated.

Presently, the Border Gavaskar Trophy remains in the hands of team India after they defeated Australia away from their home in 2020-21. Despite being riddled by a string of injuries, India fought tooth and nails to breach the fortress Gaba in Brisbane in the final test to retain the coveted test cup against Australia 2-1.

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