Ravi Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin ©cricketcountry.com

Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin shared on Saturday that he wasn’t “frustrated” while bowling at Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj’s century partnership as he was happy to be bowling again in the longer format of the game. India have shuffled their squad a couple of times and Ashwin is no longer the first-choice spinner. However, he gave a cheeky reply to a question on the third day of the second Test on Saturday.

“I don’t get frustrated and don’t want to get frustrated either as I am happy to be bowling again. Whoever bats again, I am happy to keep bowling at them,” Ashwin said as he meant after Ravindra Jadeja was chosen in the West Indies Test ahead of him.

Ashwin, although picked up 4 wickets for 69 in 28.4 overs, praised the 109-run ninth-wicket partnership between Maharaj and Philander.

“I think the myth of tail-enders is over-stated and when someone bats well, he bats well. Nowadays, nobody is really a mug with the bat. In our team also, everybody bats pretty well till No 11,” he said. “Like I said, it is a good pitch and Philander batted beautifully. His defensive technique to spin and fast bowling was wonderful. He played with soft hands and the bat face was slightly running down.”

He also praised India’s top three players, openers Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara for putting up a total on the opening day when the pitch was helping the fast bowlers.

Ravichandran Ashwin
File photo of Ravichandran Ashwin

“I thought (Kagiso) Rabada bowled beautifully but Rohit, Pujara and Mayank negotiated them really well in the morning (and afternoon). They kept beating the bat,” Ravichandran Ashwin shared.

However, the Indian pace attack did the job and, the senior pro didn’t surprise with that.

“Last evening, the way (Mohammed) Shami and Umesh (Yadav) ran in was extremely special. Because the way Shami was getting the ball to carry over to the keeper, it was a pleasant sight to see as it doesn’t happen often in India,” he told. “The pace attack of ours have completely earned the right of doing such things and we aren’t surprised about it anymore.”

He also praised Wriddhiman Saha‘s stunning glovework, which included a brilliant catch to dismiss Theunis de Bruyne off Umesh Yadav. Saha replaced Rishabh Pant in the series.

“It’s a no-brainer to say that Saha is one of the best going around. I have hardly seen him miss anything from the rough and today you saw how he took Rabada’s (missed) cover drive. It just indicates what good set of hands he has got,” said Ashwin.

“Saha has also got great composure too and you can’t really rule him out with the bat either. He has had some handy contributions for the team. He is a great character and great keeper to have in the team,” Ravichandran Ashwin concluded.