Looking back at the Test’s proceedings, Ravichandran Ashwin opined that it was a crucial toss for the Indian team to lose while giving his impression over the state of the SG ball on day four. He also added that at one point during his partnership with Washington, they hoped to wipe the follow-on.
It was indeed a memorable Test for Ravichandran Ashwin, who has played most of his cricket in this part of the country. In the first innings, he had bowled 55 overs, the most that he has bowled in an innings, picking up just three wickets. Meanwhile, in the second, he picked up six wickets in under 18 overs, showing the state of the pitch.
After the end of fourth day’s play, Ashwin opined that it was a crucial toss to lose for the Indians while calling the state of the ‘SG’ ball as bizarre, with the red cherry tearing up quicker than the usual. While stating that it was a good batting track on the first two days, he insisted that a good fifth day could propel India to a famous victory.
“Look, personally when I saw the wicket, I knew it would be a good wicket to bat. It was sort of a crucial toss for us as it was a good batting wicket. On day one and two, there wasn’t much on offer, it was a good batting track. If we have a good fifth day, we can round it off and win the Test,” said Ashwin in the virtual press conference.
"It could well be a combination of how hard the pitch was on the first two days. Even in the second innings, after the 35th-40th over, the seam started to sort of peel of. It was bizarre. I haven't seen an SG ball like that in the last so many years. But yeah, maybe it could be due to the pitch and hardness of it... But we will have an answer for it going through the series," he added.
The Indian offie also insisted that he had his plans well set for English skipper Joe Root, who came out with a sweeping plan against the Indian spinners. He also pointed out that in the second innings, his ploy to sweep didn’t work out due to the slower nature of the wicket.
“First, let me tell you, he (Root) was not sweeping a lot against me. We had plans in place for him off my bowling, where he didn’t get a lot of runs. In the second innings, he couldn’t get the same kind of runs, the pitch got slower and slower, which made him tough for him to score off the sweep.”
On Ishant’s 300th Test wicket and 100th wicket in home Tests, Ashwin called the lanky pacer as one of the most hardworking people in the dressing room.
“Look Ishant is one of the most hardworking people in the dressing room. Being that tall itself requires a lot of facets to be looking at. From dismissing Ricky Ponting to this, for a pacer to get 100 Test wickets in India is a big achievement. I can keep going on and compliment Ishant but he should go and pick more wickets, becoming a roadmap for the other pacers.”
Recalling his partnership with fellow Tamil Nadu all-rounder Washington Sundar, Ashwin stated that they actually hoped to wipe down the follow-on and even get closer to their target. The off-spinner also called his dismissal as unfortunate, with the amount of bounce, more than he had faced before. He also called Washington, a quite special batsman and insisted that playing spin is one of the facets that they have developed playing cricket in Tamil Nadu.
“We actually did believe that we could wipe down the follow-on and even get closer to their target, we just needed to pick our battles properly. For me, the ball bounced a bit too much. Playing spin is one facet of the game that players growing here will be good with, Washi is quite a special batsmen. He played really well and has been playing like for some time.”