‘I Have a Sort of Attachment With the New Ball’, Says Ravichandran Ashwin After Milestone Five-wicket Haul at Ranchi


India's Ravichandran Ashwin bowls a delivery on the third day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

India’s Ravichandran Ashwin bowls a delivery on the third day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Ashwin struck early as he removed English opener Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope in consecutive deliveries in the fifth over to give the host an early breakthrough. He added the scalp of Joe Root shortly after before coming back at the end of the innings to dismiss Ben Foakes and James Anderson to complete his fifer.

Team India gained clear command of the fourth Test against England at Ranchi as spinner Ravichandran Ashwin brought up his 35th fife-wicket haul to bundle out England for 145 runs in the second innings to set the hosts a target of 192 to win the game.

Ashwin struck early as he removed English opener Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope in consecutive deliveries in the fifth over to give the host an early breakthrough. He added the scalp of Joe Root shortly after before coming back at the end of the innings to dismiss Ben Foakes and James Anderson to complete his fifer.

After the end of the day’s play Ashwin spoke to the broadcasters in detail about a multitude of things including striking early with the new ball for the breakthrough in the second innings.

“Rohit (Sharma) said in the huddle – both of you are starting (Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav), who wants to start? I put my hand up and said I will start from this side. Glad it paid off,” the 37-year-old revealed.

He also spoke about his affinity with handling the new ball and expressed that he enjoyed the dividends he got at Ranchi.

“I have got some sort of an attachment with the new ball and I enjoyed bowling a little bit more speed. Loved it once again,” he said.

(On what he was relying on when there was not much turn on offer)

When quizzed about his thought process when the ball did not turn as much, Ashwin said that he had to take a step back and evaluate his options.

“I had to go back and rewire the game. I am someone who comes from the top and likes the ball to drop on the pitch. Somehow when I come to the Eastern part of the country I find that there is not enough bite out of the surface,” he elucidated.

“The bounce is literally around shin height if I can say that, so had to bowl a lot of side spin, had to hammer into the pitch for the first part of the spell and later from the other side I felt there was a little bit more purchase. Had to literally rewire and it’s a mental switch I had to make,” he explained.

Ashwin also expressed he wanted to limit the number of runs India gave away to England as it makes a whole lot of difference while chasing the game in the longest format of the sport.

“For some strange reason, my knee has been acting up. It just takes me 10-12 balls to warm up. I had a warmup before getting in as well. So once I got my length right that is when I wanted to try the carrom ball because I didn’t want to give away extra runs because we were chasing last, so every single run to chase is a big bonus,” the 37-year-old added.

The spinner from Tamil Nadu added that nothing parallels the feeling of winning a Test and said that he’d like to experience that winning feeling on Monday as India are poised firmly for the win finishing Day 3 at 40 for no loss.

“You can take all the wickets you want, and you can perform every time, but the best thing to happen is when the team wins. That feeling is surreal when you win a Test match after 4 tough days. I’d like to have that feeling tomorrow,” he said.

“Rohit and Jaiswal have started really well, hopefully, they’ll carry on tomorrow,” he added.

And when Sunil Gavaskar congratulated Ashwin on the milestone, Ashwin stayed modest and thanked the legendary batter stating, “Sunny bhai, you’re being too generous, thank you so much.”

“I’m definitely past all these things now, I’ve enjoyed every single moment of being with this team and the longer it lasts, I’ll be very happy,” the spinner concluded.



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