Ashwin commented rather cheekily that he wasn’t frustrated at all when the visitors’ lower-order showed resistance in the form of a century-stand between Maharaj and Philander and added that he was happy to just be bowling. Ashwin was not India’s first-choice spinner in the tour of West Indies.
Eyebrows were raised when Ashwin was left out of the two Tests against the Windies, but skipper Virat Kohli made it clear that the Tamil Nadu spinner will always be his go-to man in Indian conditions. And Ashwin repaid his captain’s faith in Vizag by claiming a seven-wicket haul in the first innings, helping his team win the Test by 203 runs.
But uncharacteristically, thanks to the resistance shown by South Africa’s lower-order, the Indian bowlers were made to toil hard on Saturday. And when asked about whether he was frustrated with the Maharaj-Philander partnership, Ashwin said that he was just happy to be bowling again rather than sitting in the dugout.
“I don’t get frustrated and don’t want to get frustrated either as I am happy to be bowling again. Whoever bats again, I am happy to keep bowling at them,” Ashwin said in the press conference after the end of the day’s play, reported Times of India.
Ashwin, who has four Test centuries to his name, also spoke about the importance of bowlers having the ability to bat a bit, insisting that no bowler in today’s cricket is bad at batting. The off-spinner labeled the term “tail-ender” as a myth.
“I think the myth of tail-enders is over-stated and when someone bats well, he bats well. Nowadays, nobody is really a mug with the bat. In our team also, everybody bats pretty well till No 11,” he said.
When asked about the pitch, rather than being surprised about the assistance it provided to the faster bowlers, Ashwin deemed it to be a typical first-class cricket wicket.
“This is a typically Indian pitch from my experience. These are the kind of pitches you tend to get in first-class cricket, so I don’t see why it’s not a typical Indian pitch,” he said
The 33-year-old was also particularly overjoyed about the kind of performance the Indian pacers put in, especially after the South Afrian pacers could not make the most out of the assistance the pitch was offering.
“Last evening, the way (Mohammed) Shami and Umesh (Yadav) ran in was extremely special. Because the way Shami was getting the ball to carry over to the keeper, it was a pleasant sight to see as it doesn’t happen often in India,” he said.
“The pace attack of ours have completely earned the right of doing such things and we aren’t surprised about it anymore,” he signed off.
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