All of a sudden I got really angry: Ashwin remembers sledging Australia opener Matt Renshaw in Bengaluru Test
India have been ‘the side to beat’ in Test cricket at home over the past four years. Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, India have won ten series on the trot on home soil and have dominated most of the teams. But one series was different from the rest as the Australians, led by Steve Smith, gave India a huge scare in 2017. After losing the first Test in Pune to the Aussies, India were in trouble again in the second Test at Bengaluru after being bowled out for a total below 200. India needed its bowlers, mainly spinners, to stand up and deliver. But Australian opener Matt Renshaw was frustrating them.
The Australians eventually managed to take a handy first innings lead in the match. Talking about the series with Cheteshwar Pujara during an Instagram Live session, Ashwin remembered an incident when he sledged Renshaw during the first innings of the Bengaluru Test.
“I remember one very, very crucial incident in the 1st innings. Nathan Lyon got 8 wickets in the 1st innings. Nathan Lyon was running riot but by the end of the 1st day, it stopped turning. It was damp,” Ashwin said.
“Anil bhai (Kumble) gave me quite a few suggestions. But I told him that we need to be patient as nothing is happening. Anil bhai said ‘yes, yes. I am not putting pressure on you but you have to do it’.
“Next day when I was bowling, I started bowling over the stumps to Warner and Renshaw. I remember bowling to Renshaw, a couple of balls went here and there.. to short leg and he had this smirky smile so as to suggest they were on top of the game.
“All of a sudden, I got really angry because I was not getting the wickets and I told him ‘you better not defend and make these runs because if you don’t, 4th innings you guys won’t make 100 runs’. I was angry and said it but it eventually panned out.”
Just as Ashwin had told Renshaw, India came back strong in the second innings and then Ashwin ran through the Aussies in the fourth innings, picking up 6 wickets, to help India tie the series. The hosts would go on to clinch the series 2-1 eventually.