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'This Wankhede wicket made me feel cheated'

Last updated on: November 23, 2011 19:05 IST

'This Wankhede wicket made me feel cheated'

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Bikash Mohapatra

Hard work leads to better results, they say.

As the second day's play in the third and final Test between India and the West Indies ended on Wednesday, no one would have realized it more than R Ashwin.

- Scorecard

The 25-year-old bowled a whopping 51 overs in the West Indies first innings and finished with figures of four for 154.

Looking tired after his effort, he could still afford a smile when asked how he felt.

"I bought the four wickets for 150 runs. It's quite a cost," joked Ashwin, before offering a detailed explanation.

"It is about going at the batsman. Yesterday I thought I went much more as we had to go for wickets.

 "If I hadn't tried in that last spell we might gone without a wicket on the day," he explained.


Image: R Ashwin
Photographs: Reuters
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'It is very much like the practice wicket to the left'

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Ashwin admitted he was surprised at the number of overs he had to bowl on the opening day.

"Yesterday I bowled quite a few overs; 27 is a lot of overs for a spinner on a first day's wicket. But there are just four bowlers in the side. So you will have to be rotated and managed properly in the side," he reasoned.

"The first session I didn't bowl many. In the second I was given a job to do, to try and restrict the left-handers and try and take a wicket. That didn't happen. But I knew I would have a chance in the last sessions, for any wicket offers a chance in that session. I was lucky to get two wickets.

"Today it was more of a catch-up game. We had to restrict them at some point."

The off-break bowler was vociferous in his criticism of the placid Wankhede wicket.

"This is my eighth game in Wankhede and this is the first time I am seeing a wicket like this. I am quite surprised to be honest.

"It is very much like the practice wicket to the left. I was praying it wouldn't be like that but... (his voice trailed off)

"It is one of the most sporting wickets in India. So it is disappointing to see it behave like this."


Image: R Ashwin
Photographs: Reuters
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'I was expecting some bounce, so I felt cheated'

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However, it wasn't the turn, rather the lack of it that had left the spinner disappointed.

"You can't expect the wicket to turn on the first day of a Test match," explained Ashwin, adding, "But, yes, you do expect some bounce. In this game I was definitely expecting some bounce.

"So I felt cheated on that regard."

Ashwin felt the wicket resembled one used in domestic cricket.

"In first class cricket, you turn up everywhere and you expect the wickets to be like this," he explained, adding, "But there is a pattern to it, as in if you bowl a good set of 40 overs from one side and not give away too many runs, you know you will end up with a few wickets at the end of the day.

"The pattern was slightly disturbed in this innings. I thought (Darren) Bravo did wonderfully, in partnership with (Kirk) Edwards and (Kieran) Powell. So it was a bit of a challenge.

"There was hardly anything on this wicket. I thought the second day's wicket was more like the first day's wicket."



Image: R Ashwin
Photographs: Reuters
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'There isn't anything to extract in this wicket'

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He expressed hope that the wicket would have something to offer for the bowlers over the next few days.

"I don't know if you can extract anything from this wicket. There isn't anything to extract in this wicket. Probably on the final day there might be something, which is just a guess."

Asked about Team India's chances in the Test, Ashwin's response had a tinge of sarcasm.

"First, like Ranji Trophy cricket we have to try and get the first innings lead, bat for as long as possible and see what we can do on the fifth day," he joked.

"If we get a good start tomorrow, we can definitely bat the way West Indies have done," he added, on a more serious note.  


Image: R Ashwin
Photographs: Reuters
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