After scoring his fourth century against West Indies and second on the tour, Ravichandran Ashwin said that his 118-run knock could turn out to be a series-defining one. The 29-year-old also added that the promotion to No.6 in the batting order has forced him to change his batting style.
On the first day of the third Test at Jamaica, India were in trouble at 126/5, but Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha formed a 213-run stand to help India post a respectable score on the board. The duo also completed their respective tons on the second day and India seemed in a good position at 339/6 before a late order collapse ended India’s innings at 353. Speaking about his fourth century and the partnership between him and Saha, Ashwin said that his innings could very well turn out to be a series-defining one.
I mean, if we look at the scenario in hindsight later on this could very well be a series-defining knock."
“It is indeed. I mean, if we look at the scenario in hindsight later on this could very well be a series-defining knock because we were in some trouble yesterday and there was every chance that we could be skittled out and also I thought it needed a bit of application.
“It was definitely not a wicket where you could just plonk your front foot and play through the line. It was a hard-fought day yesterday and it was no different today. We just hope we can capitalise on the rearguard action later tomorrow,” Ashwin told bcci.tv.
After batting for a long time in the No.8 and No.9 positions, Ashwin got a promotion to No.6 in the ongoing series and the Tamil Nadu cricketer, who has already scored two centuries at the position, said that he was forced to make many changes to his batting style.
“It's difficult to try and think too far ahead. That's easily possible if you are batting at No. 7 or 8, which has happened to me before when I have batted at No 8. When I have batted at No. 8, you think like a bowler at times and want to get a few extra runs. So I used to play a few more shots.
When I have batted at No. 8, you think like a bowler at times and want to get a few extra runs. So I used to play a few more shots."
“My goal is very simple. If I get a good start, if I get to 20 runs, then I'm going to capitalise on it. Then I'm going to play percentage cricket. It's all about trying to play the percentages and trying to string together a partnership and not look too far ahead in the game. One thing I try to do is to bat sessions. There have been times when I've scored hundreds in two sessions or less than two sessions. This is kind of different, but I do enjoy it. It's time-consuming and concentration-consuming but it's enjoyable,” said the 29-year-old.
Although Ashwin and Saha put India in a strong position, the Windies ended the day in a comfortable spot in the match after losing just one wicket in 47 overs and making 107 runs. The lone wicket to go down was of a run-out, but Ashwin believes that with the wicket getting slow and low, India will be able to reap rewards on day 3.
“I thought we bowled pretty well, and pulled things back towards the end of the day today. If we can extract the same amount of control then tomorrow, you never know if it could be the 1st or 2nd session, but I'm definitely sure that we will get the rewards for what we showed today,” said Ashwin before signing off.