Ashwin pleased with all-round display

Ravichandran Ashwin, who scored a valuable half-century and took a couple of wickets to put India on top on Day Two in Visakhapatnam, spoke of his enjoyment in executing his bowling plans and his rise over time as a batsman.

Ravichandran Ashwin..."I compete with myself."   -  Reuters

Ravichandran Ashwin was pleased with his all-round display and the situation India found itself in after the conclusion of the second day’s play here on Friday.

He said, “I pride myself on having high benchmarks. I'm always compared against what I've performed in the past. It's a good thing to have. I compete with myself so actually people comparing my own performances to myself is something that's good.”

On his bowling on Day Two, he said, “I was able to get the ball hang in the air, drift onto the batsmen and kind of straighten it from the stump line. I enjoyed it. The wicket can deteriorate over a period of time. This is only going to get tougher to bat.”

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Turning his thoughts to his combative half-century, Ashwin said, “I quite enjoy batting. I tried to stay a little more positive. Obviously, I've runs behind my back, whenever I've gone I've contributed heavily in last four-five months.”

Ashwin said he had evolved as a batsman. “I've worked on a few things like I've opened up my stance a little bit which is working for me.”

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Asked how the pitch changed in character from the first day to the second, Ashwin replied, “That's as good an Indian pitch as one can get. I don't know why these jibes come back at us. Honestly, it looks like a jibe.”

‘Massive’ moment

Dwelling on Haseeb Hameed’s run-out, Ashwin said, “It's massive. Sometimes these kinds of partnerships are broken through run-outs. More than anything else, I feel happy for Jayant [Yadav] for getting us the momentum through a run-out before getting a wicket himself.”

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Ashwin said, “Me and Jayant go back a long way. Two-three years back, he had come to Chennai and was staying in my house for about two weeks. I know the boy really well. He is someone who can really understand what I say.”

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The off-spinner said the pressure was building on Joe Root before he got him. “He jabbed at one and it went through the gate. It's a very different pitch to what we saw in Rajkot. It's not one of those easy-paced pitches. He nicked one almost to short leg, so we were expecting a shot like that. Obviously, the wicket is massive.”

‘Players have to adapt’

England’s assistant coach Paul Farbrace said, “We knew it would be hard. There is turn and bounce in the pitch. There is variable bounce as well.”

He added, “The players have to adapt. It is a tough place to learn against Ashwin and other Indian spinners in these conditions. We need to find a way.”

On Root’s dismissal, Farbrace said, “He knows he could have done things differently. Particularly, since he was playing so well and it is not an easy pitch to bat on.”