'I would love to credit him': R Ashwin names individual responsible for his batting resurgence
- India vs England: It is safe to say that Ashwin's batting has been on an upward curve since the Test series against Australia, and the reason behind it, as the off-spinner explained, is the confidence shown in him by one man in particular.
That R Ashwin recorded his fifth Test century should not come as a surprise. India's premier spinner, who in fact, began his cricket career as an opening batsman was always a handy batsman. The four Test centuries prior to the one against England is a testament to it. However, off late, Ashwin's bat had gone slightly quiet since his Test century against West Indies in Gros Islet in 2016.
It had been nearly five years since Ashwin last scored a Test century. In fact, prior to his century on Monday, the last time Ashwin had scored a fifty was in August of 2017, against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Since, Ashwin has gone 24 Tests without scoring a half-century for India.
However, since the Sydney Test, there was something different about his batting. During the epic Sydney draw, where Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari saw off Australia's bowlers in a fighting display of batting, he played Nathan Lyon better than anyone else in the team. It is safe to say that his batting has been on an upward curve since the Test series against Australia, and the reason behind it, as Ashwin explained, is the confidence shown in him by one man in particular.
"I am thankful the plan has paid off. Sort of had a very good day. I can't say it's been happening in the last three days, I have been practicing with Vikram Rathore (batting coach), I would love to credit him with how my batting has come through over the last four- five matches. I don't know when the next Test is going to be here, but I am pleased," Ashwin said at the end of play on Day 3.
Ashwin hit 14 fours and one six during his knock of 106 and often employed a shot the world hasn't seen him play much. At 106/6, when Ashwin joined Virat Kohli, he played a series of sweep shots – conventional and reverse – against the spin of Moeen Ali and Jack Leach on a surface where there was plenty of aid for the spinners. Ashwin revealed what made him sweep so much and how satisfactory the knock was to him.
"I will sleep well through the night, that is all that I am thinking. Even after the last Test, we spoke about how we are going to counter Leach and probably bring sweep to the game. Last time I was sweeping, I was 19 years old, I hit a bit of sweep shots well today," Ashwin said.