New Delhi: Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who became the second best Indian debutant, said the Ferozeshah Kotla track didn’t help him bagging a match haul of nine for 128 against the West Indies in the first Test on Tuesday. (Agencies)
“This was a wicket that had nothing for the batsmen and the bowlers. If a batsman is not patient enough he will give you the wicket. But you have to struggle on this track. I changed my speed today and tried to bowl a little quicker and accurate. I have seen a wicket like this which is not receptive to so many revolutions on the ball,” the 25-year-old said after the third day’s play.
“Honestly speaking, I have never got wickets on such a wicket. It is not my bread and butter as I need spin and bounce. At least if there is bounce you can see the ball carrying to short-leg and silly point but there was nothing for the batsmen or the bowlers. I tried to bowl a wee bit quicker and onto the stumps and it paid off,” he said.
Ashwin bagged six for 47 to bowl out West Indies for 180 runs in the second innings. He also used the carom ball well to get rattle the stumps of Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy.
“Samuels was probably playing for the turn and worried about the bat-pad to short-leg but probably if you have played in Delhi and the Kotla, you do know that it won’t go to short-leg. Unfortunately, he did not know that and he was looking for the spin and it went straight on.”
Asked if he expected a five-wicket haul on debut, Ashwin said: “Didn’t expect to get so many wickets but before the Test match I was hoping that I could get a five-wicket haul and get some runs with the bat. Unfortunately, the second part did not happen.”
The engineering graduate said that more than the Indian Premier League (IPL) it was his Ranji Trophy stint helped him to prepare for Tests.
“It is the four-day format of the game that helps in moulding a cricketer. The grind in Ranji Trophy and first-class matches helped me. Allthough I have not played a lot of games, if I had played 60-70 games then I would have been old. Fortunately, I had some Ranji Trophy matches under my belt that helped me,” he said.
Asked whether he has filled the boots of Harbhajan Singh, Ashwin said: “I am a youngster and he is a senior pro and he has done his job and probably when I am given my duties I need to live up to my conscience and do my job.”
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson hoped to pick up two quick wickets on the morning of fourth day and put pressure on India.
“I think of target of 276 was a good score. But I wish we were a bit more positive in our approach. We should have removed the openers early. I still hope that if we pick up two wickets early in the morning then we can put India in some trouble,” said Gibson.
New Delhi: Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who became the second best Indian debutant, said the Ferozeshah Kotla track didn’t help him bagging a match haul of nine for 128 against the West Indies in the first Test on Tuesday.