I wasn’t frustrated, I’m happy to be bowling again: R Ashwin
Not even once was R Ashwin “frustrated” during the century-plus stand between Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj on day three of the second Test in Pune on Saturday. Instead he was more than happy to rotate his arm again and again rather than sit on the bench.
While Ashwin may no longer be his captain’s first-choice spinner in Test cricket it was understandable when the cocky Tamil Nadu tweaker gave a cheeky reply to a question on the resilience shown by the South African tail.
“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 and it wasn’t very difficult to read between the lines as to what he meant after Ravindra Jadeja was preferred in the West Indies.
Stating that the word “tail-ender is a myth”, he added, “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.”
“Like I said, it is a good pitch and Philander batted beautifully. His defensive technique to spin and fast bowling was wonderful. He played with soft hands and the bat face was slightly running down.”
When asked if India will enforce the follow-on, Ashwin said it will be the captain’s prerogative, he said, “At least, I haven’t thought about the follow-on. I think the captain will decide overnight on what he should be doing. It is also important, how bowlers recover tomorrow morning.”
Analysing the Pune surface, the offspinner said, “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 didn’t also forget to praise Wriddhiman Saha’s superb glovework, which included an air-borne catch to dismiss Theunis de Bruyne off Umesh Yadav’s bowling.
“It’s a no-brainer to say that Saha is one of the best going around. I have hardly seen him miss anything from the rough and today you saw how he took Rabada’s (missed) cover drive. It just indicates what good set of hands he has got,” said Ashwin.
“Saha has also got great composure too and you can’t really rule him out with the bat either. He has had some handy contributions for the team. He is a great character and great keeper to have in the team.”
(With PTI inputs)