England opener Ben Duckett has asserted that he is mentally and technically prepared to take on whatever challenge veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will come up with in the upcoming 5-Test series in India.
Ben Duckett had a poor start to his Test career in 2016. On turning pitches in Bangladesh and India across four Test matches, the left-hander scored 110 runs, of which only 18 runs came in the two Tests he played in India. As R Ashwin so masterfully nips out the left-handers, he dismissed Duckett thrice in four innings. The southpaw was dropped from the Test team immediately.
Ben Duckett’s Test career was revived in 2022 after Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum took over the charge of the Three Lions, emboldening their batters with the Bazball mantra of aggressive play. Duckett has grabbed his opportunities in the Bazball era: in 11 Test matches, he averages 53 and has scored his runs at a strike rate of 89, pleasing the enterprising captain-coach duo.
Now, he is ready to bury the ghosts of the 2016 India tour and take on R Ashwin.
Speaking with Sky Sports, Ben Duckett said: “Maturity is a big one for me in those years. I’ve played a lot of cricket since then and a lot of learning on the way. That (2016) was my first real setback and I had to go away and deal with that.”
The left-hander added: “The biggest change is that this time around it’s not gonna be a shock whatever they throw at me, I’ve played in those kinds of pitches and I know exactly what to expect when I get out there. It was a really tough time. So I can take learnings from how I went on about it there.”
Ashwin is so good in those conditions: Ben Duckett
The 29-year-old opener heaped praise on R Ashwin’s knack of dismissing left-handers, especially in Indian conditions. Ashwin averages only 19 against left-handers compared to 28 against right-handers.
Duckett said: “It was a different team led by a different management and to be honest I feel like I was outdone thereby, in my eyes the best off-spinner ever in those conditions. I looked up and I wasn’t the last left-hander to struggle out there against Ashwin who is so good in those conditions, he’s so good everywhere. It was just a learning for me, the way that I see a lot of left-handers play against spin when their hands go on the leg side because in England it doesn’t spin that much.”
Ben Duckett insists England will be well prepared for India Test series https://t.co/qaT7TIJUYa
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