Ravi Ashwin throws down challenge to Aussie batsmen

Michael Ramsey

Indian spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin has thrown down a challenge to Australia's batsmen to take him on after his left-hander feast in the first Test.

Bemused by criticism of his record down under, Ashwin snared three top-order wickets in Adelaide before Travis Head saved face with a fighting unbeaten 61. The hosts were 7-191 at stumps on Friday in response to India's 250.

Ashwin's improved lengths and willingness to take pace off his deliveries were noticeable aspects of a technique which the offspinner has worked hard to adapt to Australian conditions.

The 32-year-old arrived in Adelaide under pressure to improve his record in Australia of 21 wickets at 54.71 - one that paled against his overall Test statistics of 336 wickets at 25.44 before this series.

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Ashwin however said the conditions held no fear for him, adding that he would welcome any attempt by Australia's batsmen to blast him out of the attack.

"If they did, I will be very happy," he said.

"Generally I cannot remember it happening ... even on previous tours, I cannot remember someone taking me down that much in Australia.

"First time when I came here in 2011, Michael Clarke kept driving me through covers. I was a bit inexperienced and kept tossing the ball up.

Indian spinner Ravi Ashwin has dared Australia to take him on. Pic: Getty

"Obviously that's where you learn from burning your fingers once."

Ashwin's imposing average of less than 20 against left-handed batsmen in Tests had been a concern for Australia, considering their abundance of potential targets.

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And it didn't take long on day two for those fears to be borne out as debutant Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja and a hapless Shaun Marsh all fell victim.

Both Harris and Khawaja were beaten in flight and caught in close, while Marsh chopped onto his stumps with an ill-judged stroke well outside off stump.

Ashwin downplayed his apparent stranglehold on Marsh, having now dismissed the struggling veteran five times in Tests.

"I've dismissed quite a few other left-handers many more times," a smiling Ashwin said.

"He is a fantastic player. There is a certain pattern that we saw through his videos before we got into the game and it was a sort of initial set-up that we wanted to do.

"Today the plan really worked, (although) not in the fashion that he dragged it on. But Shaun Marsh is one of the players that has played spin well in that batting order, so we thought it is a different plan for him going into this match."