India v Australia, 4th Test, Delhi, 3rd day

'We nailed it in Hyderabad' - Ashwin

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 24, 2013

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

R Ashwin celebrates the wicket of Mitchell Johnson, India v Australia, 4th Test, Delhi, 1st day, March 22, 2013
R Ashwin finished as the highest wicket-taker in the series, recovering from a poor series against England © BCCI

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by GrindAR 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.

Posted by TATTUs 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.

Posted by Cricketfan101 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

Posted by   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.

Posted by USIndianFan 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.

Posted by ProdigyA 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.

Posted by SRIDWI 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

Posted by kingcobra85 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.

Posted by Anubhav-the-Experience 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.

Posted by Naresh28 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.

Posted by SouthPaw on (March 25, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

Great bowling Ashwin and great pragmatism + humility ("kick on the backside"). With Jadeja doing well with the ball as well, what India can do for the overseas tours, where conditionals favor seam & swing, is to have just these two as the spinning options so that it opens up 3 spots for the medium pacers. IMO, Bhuvanesh Kumar should be one of them, but not Ishant, because he doesn't know how to pitch the ball up, a basic and key element for a medium pacer. So, the other 2 spots could be a toss up between Yadav, Dhinda, Aaron, Sreesanth. Munaf Patel, L Balaji and Shami Ahmed.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 20:04 GMT)

Time for Sachin and Harbhajan to retire from Test cricket. A number of our batsmen and bowlers should go to South Africa earlier in the year (?August?) fro a month to play on their pitches, and train against their good fast bowlers. I am sure that BCCI can tempt enough of their good bowlers, and batsmen (retired ones) to help our young players

Posted by LetThereBeLogic on (March 24, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

To all those saying Sachin did not perform this series must note that he did when it mattered most. His 81 coming in at 11/2 did actually set the tone for the series. Also don't forget the 2 sixes he hit to Lyon to win the Chennai test. While his contribution was the most significant in the score-card but it was certainly very very important. Had he lost his wicket cheaply in first innings, India's dominance later down the inning would be doubted.

In Hyderabad test he failed and so did others. In Mohali, I think he did bat very well. In first innings, he played for lunch, which is his mistake. But in second innings, it was Dhoni's lack of scoring that prompted him taking a risky single. 23 odd runs at a S/r of 90+ were good enough chasing 130.

He failed badly in Delhi. So did Rahane. But to me his contribution in test 1 and test 3 were satisfying. And I would say he just need to be a little aggresive sometimes. He is physically as fit as others. All he need is 1 big score.

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 24, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

Zaheer khna should never be allowed to come back. It is due to slow movers, both in outfield and on the crease (dravid and laxman on away tours recently) that caused India matches. Youngsters have bring in good energy and expired seniors shouldn't be allowed to interfere with them

Posted by Desiboi80 on (March 24, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

@Ali_Erose, Sachin did not perform? Did you watch the game when he scored that 81 when India lost early wickets and if it wasn't for his 81 and the partnership, maybe Dhoni's double century would have never come.

Posted by Top-Spinner on (March 24, 2013, 18:27 GMT)

BCCI has loads of cash and it would bode well if they can spend it well by sending a BCCI XI, comprising of promising players, to South Africa well ahead of the test series in eight months. Players like Rayudu, Rehane, Dhawan, Chand, Aparajit, Pujara, Rasool, Vijay, Manish Pandey, Ojha, Bhuvanesh, Mukund, Vinay are going to benefit immensely.

Posted by TRAM on (March 24, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

Ashwin bowled far better this series and yes the pitch + the inexperience of Aus batting helped. He is the best among the Indian lot. But still lot of areas he needs to improve (going for the perfect allrounder status). He still bowls often pretty short/down the leg side deliveries which I assume happens because of 2 reasons 1. Defensive captain+bowler 2. Just not much control in carrom balls? I am not suggesting he should not bowl carrom balls. But he should work more. Also he has good batting skills. He failed this series for poor shot selection - going across the line or chasing wide deliveries. His physical conditions deter his mobility on the field (I was told he had an injury years back). But hardwork should always pay I guess. I also wish he bowls both breaks in the carom kind - similar to some SL/Pak spinners.

I said above things because I want to see more success from Ashwin esp as an allrounder.

Posted by Arrow011 on (March 24, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

India should not select Zaheer, Irfan, Munaf, Ishant & the like who have all wasted precious opportunities. Zaheer is a spent force, Munaf & Ishant were never test class. Ifran was a flash in the pan.

It is time India selected 4 spinners & 4 pacemen for South Africa. Ashwin, Ojha, Jadeja & Harbhajan in spin. Bhuvaneshwar, Ishwar Pandey, Rishi Dhawan & Umesh Yadav as pacemen. Batting should be - Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Sachin, Sehwag, Dhoni (WK), Kohli & Ajinkya. A good spinner will take wickets everywhere in the world, Rangana Hereth & Ajmal have performed superbly in South Africa. You do not want to feed pacemen to South African batsmen who have played various kinds of pace right from their teens. It is rubbish to feed pace to them, we have our own spinners play them & surely India will win the series in South Africa. South Africans are one of the worst players of spin, take advantage of that.

Posted by SamRoy on (March 24, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

Sometimes cricket is a bit unjust. Ashwin's best spell in the series came on the first day in Mohali but he picked just a single wicket there. In the second innings of the final test he bowled quite poorly yet took a couple of wickets. Overall he bowled very well. Ashwin's batting was really poor in this series. I still believe that he is the best allrounder India has had since Kapil Dev. I still do not believe that he is the best off spinner in the country (either Vishal Joshi or Pervez Rasool is the best). He has the highest number of variations though. Regular Off Break, slower off break, faster off break, Top Spinner, Floater (developed recently), Arm Ball, Carrom Ball and Disguised Leg Spinner (which he never landed properly in the England series and did not use it against Australia).

Posted by ani100 on (March 24, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

IND XI in SA should be-Dhawan/Sehwag,Gambhir,Pujara,Sachin/Tiwary,Kohli,Dhoni,Jadeja/Irfan,Ashwin, B.Kumar,Ishant/Zaheer,Sresanth/Umesh/Aaron.Vijay can't bat in foreign condition

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Real man of the series was Dhoni, he turned the series on its head with his smashing 200 which shattered the aussies. He also carried on a number of difficult stumpings and tough catches which resulted in wickets. Sadly keepers do not get their due ever.

Posted by SamRoy on (March 24, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Ok Johnson adds another member to his Finger Fracturing Club.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

It's a delight that Ravichandran Ashwin has earned the man of the series award.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

india should start practing for south africa there we will find out if ashwin, jadeja,pujara,dhawan and if all these youngster can perform in foreign pitches i dont expect india to win in south africa but even if they win one match there it would be a huge improvement for this young indian team hopefully umesh yadav will make his way back and irfan pathan should come back for odis zaheer should be in the test team as well

Posted by Ali_Eorse on (March 24, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

No, everybody did not perform. This is incorrect. Sehwag did not. Gambhir did not. Tendulkar did not. H. Singh did not. I. Sharma did not. These players should be forced to retire, starting with Sachin T. Does he not know that the has passed the used-by date. Make term limits for Dhoni to serve as captain. Form the new team around C. Pujara. He is the best Indian batsman today. He should be groomed as future captain.

Posted by couchpundit on (March 24, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

I am not sure if this is form....Guy was not able to bowl to the guys who knew to play spin(England)...where the english spinners ran amock. Australians specially this lot is clueless.....I wouldnt call this form....He certainly deserves man of the series for taking most wickets.

Dont soil this guy like Sachin where credit was given even when he performs average. Honesty is something indian cricket fans lack. I do agree he is a class bowler, we will know only when he bowls against South Africa and England and takes wicket like this(which is not going to happen)

Posted by realfan on (March 24, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

@Gaurav Manchanda well said dude.... for me pujara is already new version of dravid the wall......its just a matter of time he will raise to top.....

Posted by Arrow011 on (March 24, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

If you see the difference in style of batting then I am sure he may not have improved. England always plays defensive & Australian batsmen try to score runs it doesnt mean he has improved. What works with 1 doesnt mean it will work for others as well. In the next 8 months he should develop his wares, wish him all the best & the Indian team for winning the series.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

The way pujara batted today is awesome. He is equipped with SOLID DEFENCE, can play waiting game & can counter attack. The best thing about pujara is that he scores runs when the team needed them most; not like other nonsense batting superstars, sehwag and sachin. He should be in the Indian ODI team as an opener; for me Pujara is the next Hashim Amla.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

Ashwin deserves man of the series award but tougher challanges ahead firstly the champions trophy and later against SA-should be cracker of a series between no. And no.2(presuming england loses tonight against NZ) . But he's willing to learn from his mistakes rather than sitting on his laurels which Harbhajan did and paying a heavy price for it . I think we going to shock SA .

Posted by realfan on (March 24, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

the way ashwin improved from the england series to this series , i am sure he will see success in SA also.... atleast i hope for that , he will be the key man in that series..... al the best new jumbo version 2013.....

Posted by POONAANAL on (March 24, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

Congrats Ashwin, Great bowling....keep going..... But I would like to see you as an allrounder...

Posted by wake_up_india on (March 24, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

Credit is due to Ashwin for the way he improved his performance in a very short time after the England debacle. It takes a lot to be your own critic and change oneself. Shows character, which is an indicator of many years of qualtiy performance to come.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

Well played India. But the real test is in 8 months time, in South Africa. But with this Indian squad, I have genuine hope that we'll finally win a series in SA.

Just a thought, but can Jadeja replace Ojha as the first choice left arm spinner, which will then open up a permanent place for Rahane. As the commentators said, he is a better player than the shots he played today, and he has to be given a regular place at no.6. Just a thought.

Posted by Kane_Williamson_Is_The_Best_Batsman on (March 24, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

This guy is taking wickets at a frenetic pace, even better than the South African sensation Philander. Yeah he has played a majority of matches in India, but that is scheduling.

Posted by realfan on (March 24, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

i thought ashwin was never going to learn from his mistakes..... but he proved me wrong.....congrats buddy.....

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Dare I say and somewhat pre-mature. India has good potential bowling all-rounders lead by Ashwin, Jadeja and Kumar. If they can get an Irfan Pathan back it would mean wonderful depth and a potent force in both Tests and ODIs.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

Bravo Ashwin ! Mostly for the mental turnaround after the off colour showing in the England home series. Was a bit surprised to see Ojha off colour this time. Might have been under pressure after Jadeja's confident and successful showing !

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

Congratulations dear Ashwin. You nailed it friend !! What a big improvement compared to the England series. It goes to show you are willing to learn from your mistakes. This is a very good sign for Indian spin bowling. Keep learning and be humble in whatever you do. You deserve the 'Man of Series' award. Looking forward to plenty more in the future. God bless.

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Tour Results
India v Australia at Delhi - Mar 22-24, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Mohali - Mar 14-18, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Hyderabad (Deccan) - Mar 2-5, 2013
India won by an innings and 135 runs
India v Australia at Chennai - Feb 22-26, 2013
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