Kolkata: Impressed with Ravichandran Ashwin's game, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar Friday said the "confidence and competence" displayed by the lower-order batsman was a "comfort factor" for debutant Rohit Sharma to focus on his debut Test against the West Indies here at the Eden Gardens.
Twin centuries from Rohit Sharma (177) and Ravichandran Ashwin (124) enabled India to pile up 453 in their first innings at lunch on the third day of the first cricket Test against the West Indies at the Eden Gardens here Friday.
"The manner in which he (Ashwin) played ... the partnership that he built with Rohit Sharma has not only taken India past 234 but they've got a very very healthy lead ... the lead which I think can be a match-winning lead," Gavaskar told a television channel.
Gavaskar was particularly impressed by the way Ashwin was playing offie Shane Shillingford, who picked up six wickets for 167 runs.
"The way he was reading Shane Shillingford ... and it could be because he is an off-spinner ... The way he was reading which way the ball was turning was absolutely magnificent and when a lower order batsman starts to bat with that kind of confidence and competence then a proper batsman at the other end gets a feeling 'Aha! I can play my natural game'."
"And for Rohit Sharma making his debut that was a comfort factor," he explained.