IND vs AUS 2023: ‘Ashwin is a gun’; Khawaja acknowledges spin threat

New Delhi: The four Test matches Border-Gavaskar Trophy is set to encounter another thrilling fight from February 9 in Nagpur. Ahead of the contest Australian opener, Usman Khawaja feels that facing Indian spin attack that will be led by Ravichandran Ashwin, a tough challenge in the upcoming series.

“There’s definitely a different feel. There are no guarantees in this game, but at least there’s a bit more maturity particularly in the batting, and more maturity in the bowling. We’ve learnt a lot over the last 10 years, particularly the types of wickets we can get and how we think we can perform and go out and win Test matches out here. It feels like we are in a better spot than before, but it’s always going to be tough,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Australian team are preparing themselves for the high-profile matches at Bengaluru, see Ashwin as the biggest threat in the spin-friendly pitches. Australia is working hard to tackle the Ashwin threat, as he is seen as a skilled bowler with many tricky variations.

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Khawaja praises Ashwin’s bowling

“Ashwin is a gun. He is very skilful, he is got a lot of tricky little variations, he uses the crease quite well too. If you asked me the same question when I was younger, I probably wouldn’t have been able to answer a lot of things because I didn’t really learn about how to face what off-spinners are doing,” said Khawaja.

Khawaja feels Ashwin is a really good challenge, and turning pitch will help him. The opener batter will figure out who will he face Ashwin, and will score run against him. The left-hand batter, will focus on his batting and will try to play long innings.

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Usman Khawaja strategy again Ashwin

“But it’s one of those really good challenges. The wicket’s going to turn here at some point, whether day one, day three or day four, and he 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. 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,” he added.

“If it’s a good wicket, the new ball is probably the easiest time to bat. But as soon as the wicket deteriorates in India and you’ve got spinners bowling with a new ball, that’s probably the hardest time to bat anywhere,” he stated

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When we train, the new ball on spinning wickets is always the hardest time. People assume opening the batting is the best time to bat in the subcontinent, it is when it’s flat, but it’s not when it’s spinning when there’s so much variation with that new ball. Once it softens up it gets easier to predict what it’s going to do,” added Khawaja.

Khawaja will open the batting with David Warner and has limited experience playing in India, but will finally get his chance in the longest format after being part of the Test squad in 2013 and 2017.  He feels that the team is in a better place than before, but that it is always going to be tough.

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