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

Sudhir Gupta 21:11 01/10/2018
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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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