Time to deliver: Ashwin

Time to deliver: Ashwin

Despite his well-established credentials, R Ashwin hasn’t been the preferred spinner while playing away from home. Ravindra Jadeja in the few previous series and Karn Sharma in the first Test of this tour have been chosen ahead of him.

 The off-spinner, however, has been more than handy in the second Test at Brisbane and the third one here where conditions haven’t exactly been ideal for spinners unlike in Adelaide where he sat out. At the end of Australia’s first innings, Ashwin had said it’s the best he had bowled in an away Test and on Monday, he was equally impressive with his tidy line and length and crucial breakthroughs.

 “I think it’s probably the time,” said Ashwin when asked about what has changed for him on this tour. “I spent a fair amount of time outside the team (playing 11) and it’s been quite a hard time for me in the last 8-10 months. I have taken it in my stride and definitely I felt that these 8-10 months have been very important in shaping me in order to improve for the future wherever I could get better and contribute more. I took feedback from the coaches…

 “Bharat Arun, Ravi Shastri and even Arshad Ayub have been very good. They have actually helped me along a lot. Even in Adelaide, where I didn’t play, before the match I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I can do better and how I can keep improving every day. I want to be better cricketer every single day,” he stated.

Be imaginative
Ashwin felt a spinner had to be imaginative on the MCG pitch where the wear and tear has been minimal unlike Adelaide or even Brisbane. “I wouldn’t say Brisbane had uneven bounce but it was kicking up a bit,” he pointed out. “I still thought Adelaide deteriorated the most. This is not deteriorating a lot to be honest. I think a spinner needs to apply a lot of imagination on this one to take wickets. I thought our fast bowlers bowled very well today. If we had done this in the first innings, it would have been nice. But they bowled their hearts out.

 “In this innings I thought if I could nip off a couple or more wickets, I’d be doing well for the team. So, I tried to use my imagination within the limits of keeping one end bottled up for the seamers,” he explained.

 Ashwin said he couldn’t predict how the situation will pan out on the final day.

“We exactly don’t know but we are in very positive frame of mind. You never know we can probably get them out or they can set a target for us. We are pretty open to anything. We are really positive towards this game, whatever comes we will take it as far as possible. We will see what happens.”

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