Ashwin grilled on Tendulkar issue

Australian Doherty gets away lightly on spinners day out

It was the spinners’ day to meet the press on Saturday. R Ashwin did the duty for India, while Xavier Doherty kept Australia’s media commitments.

In a strange way, those two events mirrored the situation the two teams were in. Ashwin had to go through a rather stormy session, while Doherty had a routine time with the press. Right from the beginning of this tour, Ashwin has been entrusted with the task of addressing the media, often on tough days, and Saturday was no different.

The key area of the day was the rotation of seniors, and whether the team would bench Sachin Tendulkar for Sunday’s match against Australia after giving rest to Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in the first two matches of the tri-series.

Obviously, Ashwin wouldn’t have been in the loop of the selection issues, and he replied that he was not a part of finalising the playing eleven. His reply didn’t exactly please the media. It required the timely intervention of GS Walia, the spokesperson of the Indian team, to cool things down.

Then there were a few routine questions, and to his credit Ashwin, replied quite calmly. The Chennai off-spinner detailed his strategy of bowling on Australian pitches, an experience that has not brought him much joy till now save for a man of the match effort against Sri Lanka at Perth.

“There is true bounce, and if you are not on your mark and if it’s not coming out particularly well that day, you can go for a lot of runs. You have to be very accurate on these wickets. Moving from one city to another is pretty much like in India, so you will have to adjust to the conditions quickly,” Ashwin said.

When Doherty’s turn came, he just had to answer questions about his ambitions of playing Test cricket for his country, an excellent spell against Sri Lanka at the WACA on Friday, and the challenges of bowling to Indian batsmen.

Doherty expected an Indian backlash at Adelaide. “India will be looking to come back hard at us after the defeat at Melbourne. They have a very solid batting and quite a few key players, and we can’t afford to take foot off the acclerator," Doherty said.

The left-arm spinner was confident that he could better his WACA effort at the Adelaide Oval, where the pitch is expected to offer some help to spinners.

“I love bowling at WACA because of the extra bounce it offers. Adelaide too is a great place to bowl. There is enough in here to help spin,” Doherty said.

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