An exasperated Ravichandran Ashwin today asked the media to stop making the pitch the hero for every good performance by the Indian bowlers. The all-rounder who scored a crucial fifty earlier also talked about the changes to his batting technique that have helped him in the game.
Ashwin blasted the crowd gathered at the press conference saying, "I don't know why these jibes come back at us. Honestly it looks like a jibe (from) where you are looking at Indian wickets. It does honestly. You guys watch the game through the day and pitch is something you can definitely assess better than we do," when asked about his assessment of the pitch.
"Honestly one day I would like to walk into a press conference and stop answering questions on the pitch because that's as good as Indian pitch one can get," the visibly pained spinner added.
After a mediocre show in the first Test by his stellar standards, Ashwin claimed two wickets today including the important wicket of Joe Root (53). The spinner admitted that the pitch today was enjoyable to bowl on.
"I was able to get the ball hang in the air also drift onto the batsmen and kind of straighten it from the stump line. I enjoyed it. The wicket can deteriorate over a period of time. This is only going to get tougher to bat," the 30-year old said.
Ashwin had, earlier in the day, also scored a crucial half-century to take India to a solid total. The offie has flourished as an all-rounder under Virat Kohli's captaincy and said that he enjoys his batting.
"I am enjoying batting. I tried to stay a little more positive. I have contributed heavily in last four-five months. There are some attacks where you feel confident going out there and batting," he said.
"I've been batting well against them (England) ever since they last toured here. I carry a psychological advantage when I play against them," he said about the 2012 tour when he averaged 60.75 from four matches.
Ashwin's biggest contribution of the day, however, was getting Joe Root out after the batsman appeared all set with a fifty to steady England's innings.
Speaking about it, Ashwin said, "I was not at all surprised. He jabbed at one and it went through the gate. It's a very different pitch to what we saw in Rajkot. It's not one of those easy paced pitches. He nicked one almost to short leg. We were expecting a shot like that. Obviously the wicket is massive."
Ashwin also talked about the changes he has done to his technique and how they have helped him. He said, "I have worked on a few things, like I have opened up the stance a little bit which is working for me. I have high benchmarks. I am always compared against what I have performed in the past. It's a good thing to have. I compete with myself."
"Me and Jayant go a long way back. Two three years he had come to Chennai and he was staying in my house for about two weeks. He practised with me. I know the boy really well.
"He is someone who can really understand what I say. We have a really good rapport. I felt really happy for him, the way he batted positively. Every bit of communication between us was auguring into the partnership getting deeper.
"I'm very happy for him getting the first wicket as well.
"It's massive. Sometimes these kind of partnerships are broken through run outs. More than anything else I feel happy for Jayant for getting us the momentum through a run out before getting a wicket for himself," said Ashwin.