Ashwin: ‘Important for me to get into a rhythm’

"It’s very important for me to get into a good rhythm. I just finished my interview with Simon Doull where I was telling him that throughout this series I’ve not started in fine rhythm. It’s taking me a few overs," Ashwin said after the end of the third day’s play.

Over the next two days, India will be looking forward to Ashwin for rolling his arm over yet again and help India complete a whitewash before heading to a much-needed break.   -  Vivek Bendre

With the kind of form he is in, R. Ashwin’s second five-wicket haul of the series – 20th of his career – may have been expected by many of Indian cricket’s aficionados and connoisseurs alike. But for the man himself, the performance was “pretty special” because he had to work hard to get into his rhythm at the Holkar Stadium on Monday.

“Pretty special. It’s very important for me to get into a good rhythm. I just finished my interview with Simon Doull where I was telling him that throughout this series I’ve not started in fine rhythm. I don’t know where it is but I’m trying to get my alignment right. It’s taking me a few overs,” Ashwin said after the end of the third day’s play.

“Once I go through it and when my body starts going completely into the ball, the spells start getting better. The spell after lunch was once such spell.”

The off-spinner’s assessment was pitch-perfect. At the start of his prolonged spell on either sides of his lunch, he looked rusty and was at the receiving end of New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Martin Guptill, who shared a 118-run stand. However, once Ashwin broke the association just before lunch, he looked to run through the side.

“For me personally when I start my spell, it’s all about getting into a good rhythm, get through the crease and accelerate. Once I get into the rhythm, I think I can beat any batsman in the world. That’s where I stand right now,” Ashwin said.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson missed the second Test due to a viral infection. But even the extended break hasn’t helped him sort out his issues with Ashwin. For the third time in as many outings, Ashwin got the better of the lynchpin of the Kiwi batting force. “I come into a series with a plan. I picked up some clues about Kane from the last time he played in India — at Bangalore. He has a tendency to lunge forward. That’s where I capitalised on,” he said.

Over the next two days, India will be looking forward to Ashwin for rolling his arm over yet again and help India complete a whitewash before heading to a much-needed break.