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After Bangladesh, facing Ashwin looks terrifying for England

| 31.10.2016

After collapsing from 100-0 to 164 all out England not only endured their first ever Test match defeat to Bangladesh, but ensured their ability to play spin in Asian conditions will continue to be questioned.

If a 19-year-old Bangladeshi off-spinner who made his international debut during the series was enough to torment England’s batsmen, then the prospect of facing the world’s best spin bowler in India next month is truly horrifying.

Mehedi Hasan took 19 wickets against Alastair Cook’s side during the two-match series, which is just six more than Ravichandran Ashwin took in his last appearance against New Zealand.

The 30-year-old has won four consecutive man of the series awards and has taken a whopping 220 wickets in his 39 Tests.

101 of those scalps have arrived in the past 18 months and there is a developing knack for winning the battle against the opposition’s best player.

In the recent home series against the Kiwis, Aswhin took Kane Williamson’s wicket four times out of four.

He did the same thing against Kumar Sangakkara when India beat Sri Lanka last year. Alastair Cook and Joe Root, who England rely on so heavily, will certainly arrive next month with a similar target on their backs.

The fact that England will be playing India away makes Ashwin all the more dangerous. 70 per cent of his career wickets have arrived in his home country and he has become the major reason why Virat Kohli’s side has won 12 and drawn one of their last 13 home outings.

The series begins with the first Test in Rajkot on November 9th, where taming Ashwin is England’s biggest obstacle towards a monumental series win

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.