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We are a bit short, but have enough runs: Ashwin

January 03, 2022 23:16 IST

Ravichandran Ashwin scored 46 off 50 balls to boost India's first innings total on Day 1 of the second Test against South Africa, at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, on Monday.

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin scored 46 off 50 balls to boost India's first innings total on Day 1 of the second Test against South Africa, at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, on Monday. Photograph: Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Ravichandran Ashwin termed India’s first innings score as slightly below par on a "two-paced" Wanderers pitch, but added that it could be enough for their bowling arsenal to make a match of the second Test against South Africa.

India were dismissed for 202 in the first innings, with Ashwin scoring a crucial 46 towards the end on a testing pitch after stand-in skipper K L Rahul (50) opted to bat.


Asked what's a tricky total, Ashwin replied: "(what is) A good total in South Africa has been tricky, especially in the first innings. It's always a good thing to win the toss and bat first and you want to post a good score in excess of maybe 260 or 270, which is around about score.

"South Africa always batted first (in the past) and got in excess of 250 and dominated games. Maybe, we are a bit short. But I still think we've got enough with our entire bowling arsenal available tomorrow. Fingers crossed. We can definitely make something out of this total," said India’s premier spinner, expressing hope that Mohammed Siraj, who hobbled off with what looked like a hamstring strain, will be fit to bowl on Tuesday.

The champion off-spinner also hoped that the pitch will quicken up on Day 2.

"I just felt the pitch was a little two-paced. Generally, Wanderers has the tendency to start a bit slower and start getting quicker. It did quicken up a bit, but it just feels a little different to a typical Wanderers pitch, so we'll have to wait and see how it responds tomorrow."

Ashwin scored at an impressive strike rate of 92 in his innings, which included six fours, and was not afraid to attack the pacers.

For someone, who saved a Test match in Sydney alongside Hanuma Vihari earlier this year, he feels he has got the flow back in his batting.

"Look, I think in between somewhere for a couple of years, trying to… you know sort of get very technically right or whatever it is to try and build on scores, I think I lost a bit of my flow with respect to getting into good positions at the crease and I've always, I knew even before, that I've always batted at a good clip.

"So it's not been a conscious effort to go out there and keep playing those shots. If it's there, it's there. For me, I get into positions where I can play some of those shots, which may be some of the other specialist batters might not be able to play; but this freedom is what gave me success in the past," he said. 

Rahul has been the stand-out batter for India in the series, carrying on his good work in England.

Ashwin said Rahul has cracked his own formula to succeed in the longest format.

"In Test cricket there is no one formula for success. Teams are analysing, there's a lot more footage available. There is a lot more technical assessment and breakdowns that go on in today's world and Test cricket is all about you responding to the different sort of questions that are being thrown at you.

"...and K L has found that solution to what's what he probably thought he needed to respond to and it's working for him and he's one of those players who's got the game we all know that he's got the game he's got the raw material. So it's all about how you keep finding out and keep answering these constant questions that are being thrown at you.

"Since the England series, he has looked the part."

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