'Ashwin tells us what to do, we don’t': India bowling coach's cheeky reply to query on last-over instructions vs Pak
The Indian bowling coach reveals whether Ravichandran Ashwin was given any instructions before being sent to bat in the match against Pakistan.
Team India had registered a dramatic four-wicket victory over Pakistan in its opening game of the T20 World Cup on Sunday. Chasing 160 runs to win, India were left with two required off the final ball when Ravichandran Ashwin, who had just arrived at the crease, showed brilliant game-awareness to let go of the ball going down the leg side, eventually called a wide. On the final delivery of the match, Ashwin lofted one over mid-off against Mohammad Nawaz as India got off to a winning start in the marquee tournament.
While the hero of the night was Virat Kohli who scored a brilliant unbeaten 82 off 53 deliveries, Ashwin was also lauded for his presence of mind in an immensely critical situation. Talking about the off-spinner's game-awareness, India's bowling coach Paras Mhambrey had a cheeky remark on Ashwin during the pre-match press conference for the side's second game of the tournament against Netherlands.
When asked whether the team management had specific instructions for Ashwin before he was sent to bat in the game, Mhambrey said that it is Ashwin who comes up with the plan instead. “Actually, it's the other way round. He tells us, 'this is what I'm going to do',” Mhambrey said, inducing laughter from the reporters present at the presser.
"It's just the way he is. The individual is so full of composure, and his presence of mind to actually leave the ball... any other individual at that stage would swing his bat, but that's Ashwin for you," Mhambrey further said.
The Indian bowling coach, in the same presser, also suggested that Ashwin provides batting depth to the team. “We look at the batting combination of the teams we are playing. You do your own homework—which players are struggling, which type of bowlers their batters are struggling against. So that is one aspect. The other thing which works in favour of Ashwin is that he can contribute with the bat. So we will look at both these things," said Mhambrey.
India will be aiming to make it two wins in two matches when the side faces Netherlands in Sydney on Thursday. Pakistan, meanwhile, will be eyeing their first win of the tournament when they face Zimbabwe at the Optus Stadium in Perth.