India v Australia, 4th Test, Delhi, 3rd day March 24, 2013

'We nailed it in Hyderabad' - Ashwin

ESPNcricinfo staff

A few tweaks to his bowling technique after a poor home series against England have helped R Ashwin recover his form, he said after India won the fourth Test against Australia in Delhi.

Ashwin finished as the highest wicket-taker in the series with 29 scalps, at 20.10 - a turnaround from his performance during the England Tests, when he finished with 14 wickets at 52.64.

"Actually, my delivery stride was too long and it got worse during the Test series against England," he said. "I had to sit back and work on the videos and I was lucky to have a coach (Sunil Subramaniam) who identified the problem pretty quickly. Credit also goes to Duncan Fletcher and Joe Dawes. I needed a kick on my backside and they gave me one."

This was the first series that India won with a margin of 4-0 and Ashwin believes the critical moment of the series came in Hyderabad, where India thumped Australia by an innings and 135 runs. "Dhoni's double hundred (in Chennai) gave us the perfect start to the series, but we nailed it in Hyderabad," he said. "It was one-sided and we did it in an innings."

Ashwin was happy with his performance during the Delhi Test and said that he enjoyed bowling on a wicket that was "as tricky for the bowlers as it was for the batsmen". He also praised Cheteshwar Pujara for his unbeaten 82 that was central to the Indian chase on the third day.

"You didn't know which ball was going to bounce and turn and which one was going to scoot along the surface. You had to try and make sure you increased your pace so that the batsman didn't have time to adjust. It was easier on the third day, compared to the previous evening. Having said that, the chase was tricky and I think Pujara deserves a lot of credit for what he did today, in spite of batting with a fractured finger."

He also stressed the value of Ravindra Jadeja's bowling in the context of the game. "He (Jadeja) definitely knows what he's doing and he's pretty consistent. He's caused a lot of trouble to the frontline Australian batsmen and I think he deserved the Man-of-the-Match award he got today. It was a fantastic second spell that he bowled today."

Ashwin, who plays for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, said he was keen to carry this momentum into the Twenty20 tournament and later into the Champions Trophy. "Cricket is a game where you can take form into any format," he said. "Any kind of rhythm or momentum helps. For instance, when we went into the last IPL, we had lost a lot of games in Australia and we were being put down. The last IPL was probably one of the toughest that I played. This year, the momentum is going to take us forward into the IPL and later on into the Champions Trophy. Hopefully, everyone can stay mentally and physically fresh."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jo on March 27, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    SA will actually enhance Ashwin's results if he bowls at good pace. Still SA's are underdogs even in their own yard when it comes to spin. Let team India go with similar spin/pace portfolio, there is a good chance we can do lot better in the upcoming tour. For sure, batting departments need to be looked at seriously. Our tail enders need to be significant contributors, to compensate their deficit in bowling department, like consistent 100+ runs from 8,9 &10 partnerships. If we prepare for this, SA will feel the pain from India for the first time ever.

  • ramachandra on March 26, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Aswin is picking wickets all right. But I am not sure of his continuing this if you look at the 2 balls he bowled to Siddle just before he got out. It was school boy stuff. You beat a batsman [the least a tailender] with loop and flight and not by bowling rubbish.

  • Rajan on March 25, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Ashwin is picking up wickets at a faster rate than vernon Philander but before the series many indian fans were saying he is club level bowler or he not an international bowler but if he is picking up wickets faster than philander than he has got to be doing something right

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    OK, you are brilliant in India, you thinking in your bowling some changes happened, actually no. You bowled against Australia same like England, but the opposition (Australia) is very weak against spin so you got wickets. If you perform well in abroad, we can say you improved. In Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies and England need to take the wickets. Still in fast pitches Indian Batsman and bowlers are very poor performers. Please make some fast pitches in India and give players more chance before visit other countries. Indian pitches suitable for spinners so they are getting too many wickets; even though if it is little bit fast supporting pitch, Indian spinners can't take wickets.

  • Nikhil on March 25, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    @LaligamSekhar, I would disagree. I think Sachin is critical for success even now. I would give Australia as the analogy - got rid of Ponting and made Hussey insecure enough that he does not want to play. And now they are asking for Hussey back. A couple of years overseas will blood these players and give them time to adapt and adjust, and then Sachin should move on. Habhajan also did not do much worse than Ojha, if not better, so it seems more a bias than rationale. He did not do well initially, but given freedom and bowled for a long enough spell he showed his worth.

  • Shiv on March 25, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    This is what I like about Ashwin. He is always willing to LEARN, to adapt, to try different things. He is one of the most thinking bowlers in cricket today. Not to demean Bhajji, who has been a great servant of Indian cricket for a long time, He always found excuses, blaming the pitch or always want to bowl second, blame the toss etc etc. I really think his time is up now. Congrats Ashwin, if you could work on becoming a good fielder that would be great.

  • SRINIVASAN on March 25, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    Ashwin might have failed with bat this season but he delivered what was expected of from him. kudos to Aswhin. His failure, perhaps, is due to the balls not bouncing enough and keeping low. Its the same Ashwin who played very well in Australia by scoring @ 30 plus average. Hopefully, he will do well with bat in SA. As many pointed out, India should retain Ashwin and Jadeja and keep 3 seam / swing bowlers in Bhuvanesh Kumar, Umesh yadav / varun aron, shami ahmed. Considering the fact that off-late, sachin needs a big gap between big scores, he may perhaps score a century in SA, as the series starts after 7 months from now.....We can wait, after all he is the highest scorer in the world and would perhaps think of retiring only after his son is ready to take his place

  • Arulprakash on March 25, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    when Ashwin scores runs you people say his main job is too get wickets. but when Ashwin is picking up wickets you people say he needs to score runs to keep his place. 29 wickets is enought to walk into any team.

  • Anubhav on March 25, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    Proud of you my boy...I would like to thank the parts of southern India for keeping the spin department top-notch and carry-on the tradition of producing best spin bowlers.

  • Naresh on March 25, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    @Top_spinner agree with you India probables/youngsters should be sent to SA on a learning trip ahead of the main series.This could better prepare the senior team as our selection base is broader and we can see how well some of these guys perform. Guys like Shiktar Dhawan would benefit.