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Ashwin 'carries a psychological advantage' over England

November 18, 2016 19:56 IST

'There are some attacks where you feel confident going out there and batting'

'Honestly, one day I would like to walk into a press conference and stop answering questions on the pitch because that's as good as Indian pitch one can get'

R Ashwin

IMAGE: India'a R Ashwin at a post-match press conference on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

A livid Ravichandran Ashwin asked the media to stop criticising the slow and spin-suited Indian pitches, saying he is fed up answering the oft-repeated queries.

- Scorecard

England were struggling at 103 for five in response to India's first innings total of 455 on day two of the second cricket Test as the home spinners dominated the batsmen on Friday.

"I don't know why these jibes come back at us. Honestly, it looks like a jibe (from) where you are looking at Indian wickets. It does honestly. You guys watch the game through the day and pitch is something you can definitely assess better than we do," Ashwin said at the press conference when asked about his assessment of the pitch.

"Honestly, one day I would like to walk into a press conference and stop answering questions on the pitch because that's as good as Indian pitch one can get," he said.

Ashwin, who claimed two wickets, including the prized scalp of Joe Root (53), said the pitch was of his liking.

"I was able to get the ball hang in the air, also 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 on."

India's Ravichandran Ashwin plays a shot against England on day 2 of the second Test in Vizag

IMAGE: India's Ravichandran Ashwin plays a shot against England on day 2 of the second Test in Vizag. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier in the day, Ashwin put up a stellar show with the bat scoring a crucial half-century. The Tamil Nadu bowler, who also has two Test centuries in 2016, averages 46.60 from nine matches.

"I am enjoying batting. I tried to stay a little more positive. I have contributed heavily in the last four-five months. There are some attacks where you feel confident going out there and batting," he said.

"I've been batting well against them (England) ever since they last toured here. I carry a psychological advantage when I play against them," he said about the 2012 tour when he averaged 60.75 from four matches.

About his improvement in technique, he said: "I have worked on a few things, like I have opened up the stance a little bit which is working for me. I have high benchmarks. I am always compared against what I have performed in the past. It's a good thing to have. I compete with myself."

Ashwin also had a special mention for debutant Jayant Yadav and revealed he shared a special rapport with the 26-year-old off-spinner.

"Me and Jayant go a long way back. For two-three years he had come to Chennai and he was staying in my house for about two weeks. He practised with me. I know the boy really well.

India's players celebrate with debutant spinner Jayant Yadav after the dismissal of England's Moeen Ali on Day 2 of the 2nd Test in Visakhapatnam on Friday

IMAGE: India's players celebrate with debutant spinner Jayant Yadav after the dismissal of England's Moeen Ali on Day 2 of the 2nd Test in Visakhapatnam on Friday. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

"He is someone who can really understand what I say. We have a really good rapport. I felt really happy for him, the way he batted positively. Every bit of communication between us was auguring into the partnership getting deeper.

"I'm very happy for him getting the first wicket as well," he said on Jayant who returned with a tidy 1/11 from his seven overs including his maiden wicket of Moeen Ali."

Jayant was also instrumental in running out Haseeb Hameed who shared 47 runs with Root for the second wicket.

"It's massive. Sometimes these kind of partnerships are broken through run outs. More than anything else I feel happy for Jayant for getting us the momentum through a run out before getting a wicket for himself."

England's top-scorer of the day, Root was dismissed by Ashwin after he miscued one shot at long-off and talking of the wicket Ashwin said: "I was not at all surprised. 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. We were expecting a shot like that. Obviously the wicket is massive."

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