Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide, 4th day

India 'disappointed' not 'embarrassed' - Ashwin

Sidharth Monga at the Adelaide Oval

January 27, 2012

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R Ashwin is on his first trip to Australia. He has not bowled extraordinarily well but he hasn't disgraced himself either. Over a period of time he has looked the third-most comfortable India's batsman in this series behind Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar. He is also the most abused India player on message boards and below-the-line comments on internet articles.

The simple reason is, Ashwin has been to more press conferences than any other India player through the series. Not counting the pre-series press conferences, in 12 days of Test cricket he has faced up to the media five times, only four fewer occasions than he has taken a wicket. This should not be mistaken as media's self-importance. Throughout the series this space has reported players' quotes as they are, without interpretations or embellishments. What the players say has been reported to the fans, and because Ashwin has been the most visible player on the platform, he has taken the most of the criticism from the fans.

The seniors have mostly stayed away from any interaction. It hasn't helped that a few of the other youngsters don't speak English and the media manager sent by the BCCI doesn't translate the Hindi quotes for the Australian press, which discourages the team from sending them out. Which has left us with Ashwin, who in his last press conference said that neither he nor any member of the side was embarrassed at the team's performance.

Today Ashwin sought to clarify what he said. "It would be nice if you could rephrase," Ashwin said. "'Embarrassed' is not the right word. Nobody has done any one thing faulty. We have not fooled or cheated anyone. 'We are extremely disappointed' is probably the words I can use. It is a sport.

"At the end of the day we have competed hard, it's not that we have chucked it away. We've given it everything we had. Yes we came down short on occasions, there were moments we could have seized, and it would have looked different. We have not seized the initiative, and there hasn't been enough in the bank to do it. Yes, we are extremely disappointed.

"We always felt that we should give something back to the fans, but if you keep thinking something is going to be faulty back home, you can't really do [the required] work here. It's like we are on work, and we have to concentrate on it."

It doesn't help either that Ashwin has been defensive in press conferences. Ask him why India go on the defensive as soon as they have been doing, and he questions your cricketing intelligence. Ask him about his inconsistent lines and lengths, and he says: "As a matter of fact, I bowled pretty well in Melbourne. There have been phases when I've bowled well. I wouldn't say that I didn't have much luck, but we always stumbled upon a roadblock where we get three wickets and don't get the fourth quickly enough to attack as a whole, and have gone into a break and not seized the initiative. There have been situations when it's happened like that.

India get together after Shaun Marsh's dismissal, Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide, 1st day, January 24, 2012
R Ashwin: "We have competed hard, it's not that we have chucked it away." © Getty Images

"With due credit, their players, a couple of them actually, have used their feet very well. I have tried to adjust to that. In Australian conditions, with the Kookaburra ball, even if you deceive them in the flight, they can go through with their shots. This is the learning I've taken from the series, stuff I would work on when the guys are stepping out to me. But to be honest, the ball has really come out of my hands well."

Ashwin was asked why it was always he who answered the media most of the time. Media interaction is not mandatory in bilateral series after all. "If that is what required of me," Ashwin said, "if this is also a role I have to play as a cricketer, I definitely have to play it. If it is for the team, I am ready to take it [on]."

Like others, Ashwin made it a point to talk about the playing surfaces. "There might be different scenarios and different conditions when teams travel to different places," he said. "That's what we have seen over the last one year. I think teams are getting increasingly stronger at home and they do realise that they need to give their bowlers enough in the wicket to get something out of it. Definitely under the sweltering heat and [when there is] lack of bounce, we might fancy ourselves. But a team that wants to count itself at the top of the world has to perform all over. So no excuses."

Ashwin said the fans could expect a better show in the limited-overs leg of the tour. "Everything is going to be fresh," he said. "It is going to be a different ball game. The colour of the ball also changes. Hopefully we could change our luck as well.

"In situations like these we need to forget what has happened and get on with it. Like I said, the ball is going to change, the squad is going to change, people coming in with fresh energy will help, so [we have to] just keep being positively. And we have played some good one-day cricket, even though we lost in England. I think there are people that appreciate that once again things - dew, rain, everything - didn't go our way. I hope that doesn't happen here. I am sure it will not happen over a period of one month. Looking forward to playing good one-day cricket, and if we get on top we shouldn't let them [the opposition] back again."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Cricket_Geek on (January 30, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

@ big_al_81 - Look at it this way. Indians bowled decently but not consistently. Its wrong to dismiss them saying they bowled poorly. They were made to look poor by excellent batting by Michael Clarke. I do agree many of our fast bowlers are over-rated. Zak needs consistent support especially in overseas test matches. Here we saw ony spells here and there where the bowlers were consistent. Indians are not taught to bowl consistent line & lengths. They are always told to develop slower balls, reverse swing & other variety in their bowling which are useful in Indian conditions. When we go abroad the pitches offer help anyway for quicks & all you need to do is be consistent with your line & length. The Indian quicks tried too many things & got hammered. Ian Chappell in an interview said correctly that the culture needs to change. We need quality consistent quick bowlers & not medium pacers. Its for the board to decide how they are going to nurture them.

Posted by Crickee2020 on (January 29, 2012, 4:24 GMT)

Plz man ! If indian team is disappointed and you are not embarrassed .. well I WILL SAY THAT INDIAN FANS ARE ASHAMED ! You might say, yea, we won the world cup but looks like thats the end of the indian cricket ? guys... guys... there are hundred crickets who cannot make it to indian team but if they had FOUR chances like this, one match would have been better ! for gods sake, dont say you are JUST disappointed, you should be ASHAMED man! indian Fans are, where do we dig our heads !

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

team india should be ashamed....... they won world cup what a shame... :P

Posted by AvidCricFan on (January 28, 2012, 3:13 GMT)

The team India performance is embrassing not disappointing. The combined runs scored by India's top four big guns could not be equal to the scorer in the Aussie team in both innings and 4-0 drubbing that the team received after similar results in England, is embrassing, not disappointing. Sorry, about 3/4 of the team need to be replaced. The players that need to be replaced are: Shewag, Gambhir, Dravid, SRT, VVS, Dhoni, Ishant Sharma, and Zaheer Khan. I would not consider Yadav unless he gets his fielding raised to acceptable level. This makes 9 out of 11 players that need to be replaced. Selection committee better make note of this.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 3:08 GMT)

Wow MSD u still continue as the captain of Team India after loosing two major series! while Dili of SL drew test matches in England and won 1 in SAF but he is still sacked. Go SL cricket. Way for the future.

Posted by Rooboy on (January 28, 2012, 3:02 GMT)

@Nite Kat - because we are always told that Australia cannot win in the sub continent. Pakistan and SL are in the sub continent, hence why those countries are brought up when considering Australia's record in that region. I wouldn't have thought it that difficult to understand. Of course Aus lose series away, but not like this. India need to take a massive look at themselves ... instead they want to complain about insignificant issues and deny responsibility for their 'performance'. With this attitude, things will get much worse before they get better ...

Posted by nachami on (January 28, 2012, 2:40 GMT)


Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 2:34 GMT)

Well I am totally disappointed with the performance of our Indian team. Excepting the first 2 days of the Melbourne tests all the other days we played like novice. I am also very much disappointed the manner in which Laxman, Dravid succumbed also Tendulkar especially in both the innings of the Adelaide test. I think it's high time for Sachin to perform in the upcoming tri-series or retire gracefully. regards, r neil rashan.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 2:04 GMT)

In Melbourne India was on top for first couple of days, then suddenly tendulkar got out, not a good lead indian lost. In Sydeny Clarke/Ponting/Hussey made india to bleed. in perth warner was on fire. in Adelaide again Clarke/Ponting. I wonder if we ommit Clarke and Ponting from Aussie side what would be result of this series. Just that Indian captain Dhoni did not attack when it needed.and all those indian fans who are asking for heads of Sachin, Dravid and VVS dont forget that before the start of this series Ponting was facing same music. Just give respect to old fellows and let them find themselves, they will be going to disappear one day but dont push them so hard. I am in Australia I have not seen any aussie so angry and disappointed with Ponting when he was failing miserably in SA and even against NZ. Indians particularly start too soon to demand to hang someone, and please forget england tour just look at this one. its 4-0 dont add to misery of players by making it 8-0

Posted by fosterbat on (January 28, 2012, 2:02 GMT)

If this was not an "embarassment" please don't ever think of embarassing us,we may not survive the ordeal. Nothing against you Mr Ashwin,you did as well as expected.

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