After registering a five-wicket victory against New Zealand in the first T20I on Wednesday in Jaipur, Ravichandran Ashwin has stated that it is too early for him to comment on Rahul Dravid’s coaching style. The Indian off-spinner scalped two wickets by conceding just 23 runs in four overs.
India handed a resounding five-wicket defeat to New Zealand on Wednesday in the first T20I of the three-match series. After being asked to bat first, Martin Guptil (70) and Mark Chapman (63) scored brisk fifties, and helped New Zealand to put up a total of 164/6 at the end of the innings. For India, Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers as he scalped 2 wickets by conceding just 23 runs off his four overs.
In pursuit of 165 runs, India were cruising to a comfortable victory after captain Rohit Sharma (48) and Suryakumar Yadav (62) produced sublime knocks against the Black Caps. However, the run chase was messed up at the end, but a sensible innings from Rishabh Pant sealed India’s five-wicket win in the opener of the three-match T20I series.
When asked about India’s newly appointed head coach, Ashwin stated that it is too early to comment on Rahul Dravid’s coaching style. The off-spinner further added that he is hopeful that happiness will be back in the dressing room under the guidance of the former Indian cricketer.
"It's too early for me to comment on Rahul Dravid's coaching style, but he's put the hard yards in through the U-19 level," Ashwin told the official broadcaster.
"He won't leave much to chance, and he'll be all about preparation and process, so that we can bring the happiness back into the Indian dressing room," he added.
Speaking on the first T20I against New Zealand, Ashwin stated that taking pace off the ball benefited him while bowling to the opposition batsmen.
"The slower you bowled, there was more purchase you got on this pitch. If you hit the seam and tossed it up, it did do things like Santner showed in the second innings," he said.
"It's tricky in T20s, you can't miss your lengths and you don't know when to toss it up but here it did help to give it some air,” Ashwin added.
Reflecting on India’s run chase, Ashwin stated that nobody in the team thought that the match would extent to final over of the innings.
"It was a slightly under-par score and we thought 170-180 would be par. We thought we would cruise home around the 15th over, but that's T20 cricket for you.
"I bowled the first over in the powerplay, and figuring out the pace to bowl is important and it took me some time to figure that out.
"It's about varying to pace and knowing when to vary it. It's important to take each of the 24 balls as an event, and look at each ball in isolation and as an opportunity," he said.
India will face New Zealand in the second T20I on Friday, November 19 in Ranchi.