India will not allow South Africa to dictate terms at Centurion: Ravichandran Ashwin
Indian cricket team spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also defended Mohammed Shami’s average outing on Day 1 of the 2nd Test vs South Africa cricket team at Centurion, saying the pacer did well in the second spell.cricket Updated: Jan 14, 2018 16:22 IST
India cricket team pace spearhead Mohammed Shami had a forgettable first day in the Centurion Test but off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin defended him, saying he had a much better second spell. When asked whether Shami is taking a little more time to get into rhythm with the new ball, Ashwin first came up with a response that could have a different interpretation. (SA vs IND Centurion Test scorecard)
“If you ask me that question, I would say actually I am lucky I am not a decision maker on those lines because I don’t have to make the decisions or make an opinion on someone. I am really happy to be in that position,” was Ashwin’s answer to the question on Shami. But he quickly padded his answer by backing Shami to come good on Sunday.
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“Initially, I think, any bowler for that matter when you go for runs in the first spell itself, it’s very difficult to gather yourself and gather your thoughts and try and comeback with a plan for the next spell. I thought, he came back pretty well in the second spell when he was bowling a lot more quicker and trying and hitting, he was getting into the wicketkeeper’s hands, thudding a lot more into the gloves,” he added.
“So, these are just things you really want to be harsh, read into someone and you can very well easily pass a judgment about someone. But having gotten hit in the first spell, I thought he came back really well. You never know he might close out the game tomorrow,” he said.
After two disappointing sessions, India came back with three wickets in the last hour. And Ashwin feels that will not allow South Africa to walk in confident on Sunday.
“I think this was a good last session for us. Because I feel those wickets in the last session are very valid incentives for the team going into day two. If they had not lost so many wickets in the last session, two run outs which were extraordinary work by Hardik and bit of luck for us, without that I think they would have had batsmen walking in tomorrow morning and be harder work for us,” he said.
India lacked penetration with the new ball but Ashwin said it would be premature to say South Africa might bowl better.
“I always believe that when two sides are finished with bowling we can make a call on that because it is really difficult to make a call on it after just one side has bowled on it. So I will wait until South Africa has a go on this wicket and then take a call on that,” he said.
Ashwin also credited his county stint at England for being able with more patience here. “I think my experience of going to England and playing helped because this has been a sort of wicket which you get there especially where I played, at New Road, where it’s pretty flat. One ball jumps occasionally and goes flat for a pretty long time. My first-class team-mates would advice that I have to develop a lot of patience and hearing those things from them was definitely a reality check for me. Yeah, I have gone through a massive ride over the last eight months and I am in phase of life where I really want to enjoy my cricket.”