India vs England: Ravichandran Ashwin explaining his performance on Day 1 of Edgbaston Test is pure science
Ravichandran Ashwin’s stellar show on Day 1 of the Edgbaston Test has put India in a commanding position in the first Test against England. Watching the spin wizard bowl with such authority and guile outside the sub-continent was a joy for Indian cricket fans. Ashwin, who picked up four wickets, spoke to Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun after the end of the day’s play and said that he has worked hard on his bowling action over th epast year and a half and that hardwork is yielding results currently.
“When I came here for the county stint last year one thing that I realised was the speed at which the spinners had to bowl here. The wickets are extremely slow even on the first day. You can have a bit of bounce but if the pace is not right the batsman gets a lot of time to face the ball on the front and the backfoot...Even over the last 12 to 18 months I have spent a lot of time back home playing club cricket and all that of stuff. I have been working on simplifying my action a bit and make sure I get more body into the ball and make sure I can create something in the air and that’s what I did and it worked today.”
Ashwin, who already holds the record of being the fastest bowler to reach the milestone of 300 Test wickets, picked up the key wicket of Alastair Cook to give India their first breakthrough. He then came back to strike thrice in quick succession to give India the edge in the final session of the day.
While speking to Arun, Ashwin also mentioned that he has been working on beating the batsmen in the air to ensure he doesn’t have to depend a lot on the nature of the wicket. Ashwin in the past has often struggled on wickets which did not help spinners.
“We (Bharat Arun, Ravi Shastri and Ashwin) have always spoken about taking the wicket (pitch) out of the equation especially with how good the wickets are in the modern day and the modern day batsmen actually enjoy playing on these wickets. I think I consciously worked upon doing batsmen in the air. But what happens is that when you are trying to do the batsman in the air, thebody sometimes just gives up. You just a touch short or a touch fuller. In one of those pursuits I though simplifying my action was very important. I went through a very good phase of bowling with a particular action and hence a lot of bad habits had crept in with my arms coming in, so I had to go against my will and make those changes.
Ashwin (4/60) registered his best figures in Test cricket across South Africa, England and Australia as India reduced England to 285 for nine on day one of the Test.