‘If you respect the pitch and play accordingly, the pitch will also respect you’: R Ashwin

India off spinner R Ashwin, on Saturday, took to his Youtube channel to share a recap of the first two India vs Australia Tests played in Nagpur and Delhi.

In the latest episode of ‘Around the world of cricket’ the veteran spinner explained in detail how to bat against spin in India, the pitches and more.

Looking back at the first Test in Nagpur, he said, “We had plenty of lead-up before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In fact, it is still a very tight series. We might lead the series 2-0. But the margins have really been small. We will take the Nagpur Test for example.”

“At one stage, when we took the lead, we were 5 or 6 down when 170-180 odd. Thanks to Jadeja – Axar partnership, followed by Shami’s cameo, our lead went past 200, and Australia were out of the game.”

“If we had gotten out for 200, and if they scored 150, it would have been a kick-ass game.”

Speaking about the second Test at the Arun Jaitley stadium, the 36-year-old batter said, “Likewise, Delhi Test. We were 140 for 7 when I and Axar came together for our partnership.”

“At that stage, we knew we were so far behind in the game. But I thought we may even take a lead since the wicket was very comfortable. See, I really think there was nothing on that wicket. At various stages in both Nagpur and Delhi, you just couldn’t clear your front leg as you do in a T20.”

“And you will never get those types of wickets here in a Test match. Because IPL and other T20 games take place during the night. Dew will set in, and the wicket will skid. During the daytime, in Indian conditions, the wicket will only be slow.”

Ashwin then went on to explain how the ‘Bazball’ approach of batting is not suitable for all sorts of wickets, “You can’t whack as you do in a T20. Secondly, we now have a concept called Bazball. England is playing fast-paced Test match cricket,” he said.

“They want to play a certain style of cricket. But in certain types of wickets, when you try and attack every ball, you will falter. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this approach. Sometimes, on the wicket, conditions need to be respected,” he added.

Recalling his coach’s advice, Ashwin said, “My ex-coach WV Raman used to tell me, “Hello, mister. Don’t challenge the conditions. Will you go to a beach and start swimming as you do in a swimming pool? You can’t, right?

Likewise, if you should respect the pitch and play accordingly, the pitch will also respect you.”

Why do they call it ‘Test’ cricket? It tests your defence, it tests your pressure, it tests your ability to handle pressure. It tests you to handle different situations in the game. It tests you to deliver under pressure. You will be put under pressure.

Meanwhile, India will face off Australia for the third Test at Holkar Stadium in Indore starting March 1.


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