Ravi Ashwin defends his bowling during India's tour of England following criticism

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Ashwin says he is pleased with his bowling display in England.

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has defended his performance on the tour of England although he did admit to being frustrated by injury.

In an interview with Cricketnext, Ashwin said he was personally pleased with his bowling in the five-match Test series.

India were thrashed 1-4 by the hosts with Ashwin’s performance in the fourth Test at Southampton coming under the scanner.

The spinner had started the series well with an excellent display in the first Test at Edgbaston but sustained a hip-injury in the third match at Trent Bridge.

Despite his injury, Ashwin was included in the playing XI for the fourth Test where he could only muster three wickets across the two innings. His performance paled in comparison to England off-spinner Moeen Ali who was declared as the man-of-the-match following a nine-wicket match haul.

The India man was criticised for not hitting the rough patches on the pitch enough during the loss at Southampton but Ashwin disagreed.

Ashwin was outbowled by Moeen in the Southampton Test.

Ashwin was outbowled by Moeen in the Southampton Test.

“I don’t agree to the view that I wasn’t hitting the rough as much as he (Moeen) did. When you look at the way they batted, they played the ball against the spin. I would much rather say that it was also about changing lines as a spinner. You can’t be monotonous and keep hitting the same spot when the batsmen are looking to take runs off you. When we batted both times, they had the ascendancy on the game,” he said.

“It was completely different scenarios, completely different tangents. Comparisons are anyway bound to be there because you are on the same scale and somebody else has picked up wickets and I have not delivered the killer blow. But overall, I thought my bowling in England was very pleasing for me. I won’t be really harsh on myself. I did bowl really well and my injury did let me down, it was quite frustrating. Having said that, it is part and parcel of the game,” he continued.

The 32-year-old lamented the injury he sustained at Trent Bridge while reviewing his performance at Southampton.

Ashwin sustained a hip injury in the third Test at Trent Bridge.

Ashwin sustained a hip injury in the third Test at Trent Bridge.

“The injury was very frustrating. It happened in Trent Bridge. For me, it was all about wanting to make the series two-all. The injury was a hampering factor but I have never played my cricket that way, saying something bad happened because of an injury. I took it upon myself to try and win the game for the team. It didn’t work out but I wouldn’t say I bowled too badly, either,” he explained.

“People who know cricket and who have watched cricket will have understood that had things gone a little bit here or there, it would have been different, but that didn’t happen. Obviously, when you compare with the spinner (Moeen) who bowled from the other team, it looks like that. But if my body had been better, I might have coped with it better,” Ashwin continued.

The senior India spinner will now turn his attention to the first Test against the West Indies which gets underway on Thursday at Rajkot. Ashwin was declared fit for selection after undergoing his injury rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

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Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi explains why the 2009 World T20 win is special for him

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Former Pakistan captain and iconic all-rounder Shahid Afridi has seen it all as a player. He scored what was once the fastest century in ODIs – off 37 balls – still owns the second best bowling analysis in ODI cricket (7-12), and has hit the most sixes in international cricket – 476.

But the one performance that is closest to Afridi’s heart is the 2009 World T20 win.

In that edition of the tournament, Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the final in England.

Afridi scored 54 not out after picking up 1-20. It was a poignant moment for Pakistan cricket as the win in June that year came just four months after the horrific attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore that resulted in international cricket abandoning Pakistan for a decade.

Afridi said that win was important to heal the wounds of a nation as its cricketing image had taken a big hit.

“The 2009 World T20 win was memorable for me. Because Pakistan cricket was struggling a lot following the Sri Lanka incident. That win was very important to lift the spirit of the people of Pakistan at that time,” Afridi said in a video chat hosted by UCBrowser.

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Live Cricket Blog: Virender Sehwag reveals Shoaib Akhtar fear

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Catch all the latest happenings in the world of cricket.

Hello all, the Sport360 Team is in place, bringing you the latest news from the world of cricket on Monday.

We’ll be covering further fallout from the Asia Cup, as well as the upcoming October series including Pakistan v Australia and India v West Indies.

As ever, get in touch with us throughout the day on Facebook.

7:00pm – Virender Sehwag reveals Shoaib Akhtar fear

Former India opening batsman Virender Sehwag has revealed that there was only one bowler he was scared to face during his playing days – Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

Read what the India great had to say about facing up to the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ here.

Sehwag (l) and Akhtar had many fiery duels.

Sehwag (l) and Akhtar had many fiery duels.

6:00pm – Senior India players have a point to prove against the West Indies

The upcoming Tests against the West Indies will provide a chance for India to overcome their blues from the tour of England where they were handed a 1-4 thrashing by the hosts.

While the series will be an opportunity for the newcomers to stamp their mark, it will also give several established players a chance to make amends for their performances in England.

We look at the three India seniors with a point to prove in the two Tests here.

Ajinkya Rahane (l) will be keen to make amends for the England tour.

Ajinkya Rahane (l) will be keen to make amends for the England tour.

5:00pm – Domestic coach to help Mohammad Amir rediscover his swing

Sui Southern Gas Corporation (SSGC) coach Atiq-uz-Zaman has said that his coaching staff will look to help pacer Mohammad Amir rediscover his swing.

The Pakistan pacer will return to domestic cricket after being dropped from the Test squad for the upcoming series against Australia in the UAE.

Read what the SSGC coach had to say about Amir’s domestic return here.

Mohammad Amir has been bereft of confidence lately.

Mohammad Amir has been bereft of confidence lately.

4:00pm – Nathan Lyon observing Ashwin footage ahead of Pakistan test

Nathan Lyon warmed up for the Test series against Pakistan in perfect style with an eight-wicket haul in the first innings of Australia’s ongoing tour-game with Pakistan A in Dubai.

Following his excellent display with the ball, Lyon stated that he had been observing footage of spinners like India’s Ravichandran Ashwin bowling in the subcontinent to step up his game for the upcoming series.

Read what the Aussie spinner had to say here.

Lyon is looking in fine form ahead of the Test series against Pakistan.

Lyon is looking in fine form ahead of the Test series against Pakistan.

2:30pm – Mohammad Hafeez handed Pakistan Test recall

Pakistan have added veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez to the squad for the two-Test series against Australia.

The 37-year-old is a late addition to the 17-man squad announced by the Pakistan selectors previously and will fly out to Dubai in the earliest possible flight ahead of the first Test, which gets under way on October 7.

Read more on this breaking story here.

Mohammad Hafeez has been added to the 17-man Test squad.

Mohammad Hafeez has been added to the 17-man Test squad.

2:00pm – Matt Renshaw a doubt for first Test against Pakistan

Australia batsman Matt Renshaw could be a doubt for the first Test against Pakistan after sustaining a head injury in his side’s ongoing warm-up game at Dubai.

Renshaw was struck on the head following a pull shot from Pakistan A batsman Abid Ali while fielding at short-leg on Sunday.

Read more on this breaking story here.

Renshaw has a history with concussions.

Renshaw has a history with concussions.

1:00pm – Jason Holder confident of West Indies’ good show in India

With the Asia Cup now over, India’s attentions shift to the two-Test series against the West Indies starting on Thursday.

The series will see No1 ranked India lock horns with a West Indies side ranked eighth in the format but that fact is not discouraging the skipper of the Caribbean side.

Read what Jason Holder had to say on the challenge ahead for the West Indies here.

Jason Holder and his men have been in good form in the Test format of late.

Jason Holder and his men have been in good form in the Test format of late.

11:30am – West Indies capable of surprising India

The West Indies are currently placed eighth in the ICC Test rankings, just above Bangladesh. The Caribbean side are known more for their T20 flair than red-ball excellence.

And as they prepare for a two-Test series in India this week, cricket followers might expect a dominating performance by the world’s No1 team.

Our man Ajit Vijaykumar believes Jason Holder’s men are more than capable of surprising India. Read why here.

West Indies have been led well by Jason Holder (2nd, r).

West Indies have been led well by Jason Holder (2nd, r).

11:00am – Nathan Lyon primed to shine in UAE

Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon had a poor tour of the UAE in 2014. The Aussies lost the series 2-0 as their ace off spinner picked up just three wickets in the two Test at an astronomical average of 140.

Now, the Aussie returns to the UAE as a much-changed bowler at the top of his game. We look at why the off-spinner can make amends for his 2014 showing here.

Nathan Lyon.

Nathan Lyon.

10:00am – The baffling case of Karun Nair

Tamil Nadu batsman Karun Nair was given the cold shoulder by India’s selectors after being dropped from the Test squad for the upcoming series against the West Indies.

The latest setback for Nair comes on the heels of a prolonged exclusion from the squad. Read more on this baffling case of Nair here.

Indian batsman Karun Nair.

Indian batsman Karun Nair.

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