India v West Indies, 1st Test, New Delhi, 3rd day November 8, 2011

'I hoped to get a five-wicket haul' - Ashwin

R Ashwin has won a World Cup and starred in the IPL. Yet inside three days at the Feroz Shah Kotla, he took the single, largest stride that could define him as a cricketer
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R Ashwin has seen stardom; he made his name around India through the IPL and his bold opening spells for the Chennai Super Kings. In his brief international career, he has already seen the pinnacle: even before he had played his 10th ODI, Ashwin knew what it was like to win a World Cup.

For a young man of 25, those experiences are enormous by themselves.

Yet inside three days at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Ashwin took the single, largest stride that could define him as a cricketer. He has moved from a very respectable reputation in the shorter versions of the game right into the relentless drama that is Test cricket with success, comfort and nine wickets.

As much as he is known and relied on for discipline, control and an asphyxiating wicket-to-wicket line, Ashwin's debut will always be remembered for the whirling, twirling "carrom ball" that fired through past a befuddled Marlon Samuel and crashed into his stumps.

Ashwin's 6 for 46 involved sharing the new ball with fellow spinner Pragyan Ojha after India's dramatic first innings collapse. His wickets were timely (Kieran Powell in his first over), important (Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels in four balls) and significant (Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Sammy). It all added up to a match performance of 9 for 128, the second best figures for an Indian bowler on debut. As the time nears to pick a squad to tour Australia, these are numbers will reverberate like a PA announcement in a silent stadium. On Tuesday though, Ashwin stirred up the thin but enthusiastic crowd, storming through the West Indies line-up and giving India something gettable to chase.

Watching Ashwin's performance through the entire Test was his coach Sunil Subramaniam, whose crushing handshake at stumps reflected both satisfaction and joy. Ashwin had proved, Subramaniam said, "that he belongs at this level." Ashwin's skill, he said, "was never in doubt, but at the international level, it becomes a matter of the temperament. You never know about that until the occasion comes for the world at large to be convinced." Ashwin himself turned up to his media conference and said he had hoped to get a five-wicket haul, "and probably some more runs as well. Unfortunately the second part did not happen."

What did work today, worked just fine. Ashwin may have risen to the India ranks through the IPL and T20, but he has essentially been a four-season-old trooper in first-class cricket. He made his first-class debut just under five years ago, has 157 wickets from his 34 first-class games. "I've played a good amount of Ranji Trophy cricket," Ashwin said. "The grind of the four-day format helps develop a cricketer."

Somewhere in his memory lay a small fact that led to Samuels' spectacular dismissal. Ashwin said, "I thought I plotted him well in that over. He was probably playing for the turn and worried about the bat-pad to short-leg but probably if you have played in Delhi and the Kotla, you do know that it won't go to short-leg. Unfortunately he did not know that and he was looking for the spin and it went straight on."

It was, his coach said, the wicket that got Ashwin's "creativity" going. To maximise his 6ft2in, Ashwin could have done with a track that offered slightly more bounce than the Kotla's random low-rise offerings, but he wasn't grumbling at the end of the day.

"It is not my bread and butter as I need spin and bounce. At least if there is bounce you can see the ball carrying to short-leg and silly point but there was nothing for the batsmen or the bowlers. If the batter is not patient enough you can get a wicket. Today I tried to bowl a wee bit quicker and onto the stumps and it payed off." Ashwin speaks expansively and openly about his game, saying he had decided to increase "airspeed" talking about bowling a little faster at key moments, "so that whatever little variation and bounce that the wicket could offer, could really pay off."

He got two to jump at the Delhi Gate end, hitting Devendra Bishoo on his fingers, and then had Darren Sammy bowled from one that shot off the turf after pitching. The most important wicket was that of Chanderpaul, the one batsman who had played him with confidence in the first innings, hitting a six and scoring 38 off 34 balls. Ashwin decided to try a different angle against Chanderpaul, and had him lbw from over the wicket.

" At least if there is bounce you can see the ball carrying to short-leg and silly point but there was nothing for the batsmen or the bowlers. If the batter is not patient enough you can get a wicket. Today I tried to bowl a wee bit quicker and onto the stumps and it payed off."

Subramaniam said he had always fancied Ashwin's chances against Chanderpaul. "At the international level, where the bounce is predictable, the highly skilled and technically accomplished batsmen will delay shot making... on a wicket like this, where the ball keeps low, it only needs a microsecond of delay to make it matter for anyone bowling that line."

The first innings had not turned out the way Ashwin wanted, but he insisted, not because of nerves. "Yes, the body wasn't moving the way I wanted it to in the first few overs. I didn't know whether my hip was turning, whether the release was perfect and all I was doing was concentrating because I have never seen a wicket that is so less receptive to so many revolutions on the ball. Frankly I thought I was doing something wrong and contributed myself to it by not moving my hip enough. All these were the things that were weighing in my mind before I went in for the lunch break but as time went on, I just had to handle myself." Perhaps that is what is actually called nerves.

He handled himself like a pro in the second innings, though Subramaniam admitted that "it helped when you have a side like the West Indies to bowl against, who have batsmen just off a good tour of Bangladesh, who will start playing their shots early." The batsmen scored off only 24 of his total of 129 balls in the second innings, the shortage of boundary freebies troubling all who faced him.

The two men spoke on Monday night, Ashwin being told that he was under no pressure "functionally" - as in all he didn't have to do anything more dramatic than what he was used to doing, exercising control, but do so under the conditions at his feet. The Kotla wicket, Subramaniam said, was behaving like several others in India, merely settling in after being re-laid. The more matches that are played, the better their behaviour will be. He didn't think poorly of the Kotla, he said. "It is not vicious... whenever something has to happen in Indian cricket, it always happens here. It was the wicket that marked Anil's (Kumble) comeback in the Irani Trophy. It's the place where the ten wickets happened."

The Kotla is the place that has marked his ward's arrival in the big league. Comparisons with Kumble were inescapable. They were based on Ashwin's height, accuracy, hand-clapping wicket-celebration and general South Indian-ness. There is much distance to be covered for that to be a reasonable resemblance. Yet, regardless of the future, Ashwin and his coach will always have the Kotla.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 10, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Ever time I saw a four scored off Ashwin's over he followed up with a wicket in the next ball or at least the next over. He is one of those cricketer who tries hard and never loses his mind while doing so. I hope Dhoni gives some more support to players like Ashwin who may not be the best guy for a North Indian to hang out but a thinking spinner who you can rely on. From the day he started playing for CSK we loved him and we are proud of Ashwin as a Tamilan...... GO BUDDY ASHWIN U WILL GET BETTER

  • on November 9, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    I hope the selectors don't overplay Ashwin in T20s/ODIs. Like what happened to Harbhajan, Ashwin willl become a defensive bowler if that happens. He and Ojha should only be played in Tests as match-winners. For T20s/ODIs we can get by with Rahul Sharma, Jadeja and part-timers like Yuvraj, Raina, Yusuf, Tiwary and Rohit.

  • Rahul_78 on November 9, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    As many experts say cricket is not a game played between 22 yards on the pitch but in your mind. Ashwin comes across as a thinking cricketer. He hardly used his carrom ball in the test as he was trying mainly variations in to his stock off spin delivery. Good to see selectors showing faith in the youngster and he repaying it. Also we should not forget Ojha who did all that was asked of him. Only thing that bothers me about Ojha is he still hasn't managed to earn the confidence of his skipper Dhoni. Dhoni used him sparingly in the second eanings even though Ojha had taken 6 first eanings wickets. Anyways wish both of the lots of good luck for good of Indian cricket.

  • on November 9, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    Bhajji is going to find it very tough to make it back to the Indian cricket team, what with Ojha getting 8 and Ashwin getting 9 wickets in this match. Also, Bhajji has not really done anything of note in his first Ranji outing either. Thats actually understating his mediocre performance of 0/92 on his home ground vs UP.

  • Top-Spinner on November 9, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Bhajji tosses the ball and hopes it will do something on its own. Ashwin is a thinking bowler who has a lot of weapons in his armor. But Bhajji will make a comeback, after all he shares the same marketing company as Dhoni's.

  • East_West on November 9, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    Ashwin, you are the man! you sure know your cricket ABCDs better than many cricketers out there who just bowl [without outsmarting the opponent]! I am sure your dad's cricket knowledge is of immense help,....it is refreshing to see this young lad thinks and executes at the same time and NOT just talks rubbish on the ground!!! [Sreesanth, are you listening!!] Welcome to Indian Test team, kid!! hope you serve our nation well!!

  • rare2823 on November 9, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    Great talent and a great thinker of the game... when did we last hear someone talk so much on the art of bowling.... his press conference text should go into coaching manual...

  • on November 9, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    zaheer shud make it 2 aus tour wid match fitness ,ashwin wud b da 1st choice spinner on dat tour ishant pk n zaheer picking dem selves its yuvraJ LAST test series if he dunt do well it ill end of da road 4 him...

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on November 9, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    @Gitapat- dropping dhoni and bringing karthik? LOL.On what basis? I suppose you are talking about batting, then mate you will be glad to know that, karthik averages 27 with bat in 23 test matches(mind you 23 test are enough chances), compare to dhoni's 38.Now do you reckon there is an important art known as 'CAPTAINCY' ? And of which Dhoni is the best in the world.Perioud.

  • Romenevans on November 9, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    @ peterss - Kudos to Srikant for Dropping Bhajji? Dude It was Mohnder Amarnath who stood tal and dropped Bhajji, where Srikant and DHoni were still in favor to pick Bhajji again. It is Amarnath who brought these youngsters in the team, so kudos to him.

  • on November 10, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Ever time I saw a four scored off Ashwin's over he followed up with a wicket in the next ball or at least the next over. He is one of those cricketer who tries hard and never loses his mind while doing so. I hope Dhoni gives some more support to players like Ashwin who may not be the best guy for a North Indian to hang out but a thinking spinner who you can rely on. From the day he started playing for CSK we loved him and we are proud of Ashwin as a Tamilan...... GO BUDDY ASHWIN U WILL GET BETTER

  • on November 9, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    I hope the selectors don't overplay Ashwin in T20s/ODIs. Like what happened to Harbhajan, Ashwin willl become a defensive bowler if that happens. He and Ojha should only be played in Tests as match-winners. For T20s/ODIs we can get by with Rahul Sharma, Jadeja and part-timers like Yuvraj, Raina, Yusuf, Tiwary and Rohit.

  • Rahul_78 on November 9, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    As many experts say cricket is not a game played between 22 yards on the pitch but in your mind. Ashwin comes across as a thinking cricketer. He hardly used his carrom ball in the test as he was trying mainly variations in to his stock off spin delivery. Good to see selectors showing faith in the youngster and he repaying it. Also we should not forget Ojha who did all that was asked of him. Only thing that bothers me about Ojha is he still hasn't managed to earn the confidence of his skipper Dhoni. Dhoni used him sparingly in the second eanings even though Ojha had taken 6 first eanings wickets. Anyways wish both of the lots of good luck for good of Indian cricket.

  • on November 9, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    Bhajji is going to find it very tough to make it back to the Indian cricket team, what with Ojha getting 8 and Ashwin getting 9 wickets in this match. Also, Bhajji has not really done anything of note in his first Ranji outing either. Thats actually understating his mediocre performance of 0/92 on his home ground vs UP.

  • Top-Spinner on November 9, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Bhajji tosses the ball and hopes it will do something on its own. Ashwin is a thinking bowler who has a lot of weapons in his armor. But Bhajji will make a comeback, after all he shares the same marketing company as Dhoni's.

  • East_West on November 9, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    Ashwin, you are the man! you sure know your cricket ABCDs better than many cricketers out there who just bowl [without outsmarting the opponent]! I am sure your dad's cricket knowledge is of immense help,....it is refreshing to see this young lad thinks and executes at the same time and NOT just talks rubbish on the ground!!! [Sreesanth, are you listening!!] Welcome to Indian Test team, kid!! hope you serve our nation well!!

  • rare2823 on November 9, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    Great talent and a great thinker of the game... when did we last hear someone talk so much on the art of bowling.... his press conference text should go into coaching manual...

  • on November 9, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    zaheer shud make it 2 aus tour wid match fitness ,ashwin wud b da 1st choice spinner on dat tour ishant pk n zaheer picking dem selves its yuvraJ LAST test series if he dunt do well it ill end of da road 4 him...

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on November 9, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    @Gitapat- dropping dhoni and bringing karthik? LOL.On what basis? I suppose you are talking about batting, then mate you will be glad to know that, karthik averages 27 with bat in 23 test matches(mind you 23 test are enough chances), compare to dhoni's 38.Now do you reckon there is an important art known as 'CAPTAINCY' ? And of which Dhoni is the best in the world.Perioud.

  • Romenevans on November 9, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    @ peterss - Kudos to Srikant for Dropping Bhajji? Dude It was Mohnder Amarnath who stood tal and dropped Bhajji, where Srikant and DHoni were still in favor to pick Bhajji again. It is Amarnath who brought these youngsters in the team, so kudos to him.

  • Kogul_Pwnzer on November 9, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    Mendis became predictable because he used the Carrom ball too often in test matches as well. Ashwin, however bowled his first carrom ball of the second innings to Samuels. I believe the Carrom ball/Doosra should be the surprise delivery not the stock ball. We've seen Bhajji use the Doosra way too often that the batsmen became familiar with and were successful in playing that delivery. For off-Spinners, off-breaks are their bread and butter or the stock ball. Carrom ball/doosra should be the surprise weapon. and Leg spinners become predictable when they bowl the wrong-un way too often.

  • hiteshsjoshi on November 9, 2011, 2:41 GMT

    Loved his words - "This is not my kind of wicket. I like wicket with more bounce." A great interview and bowling performance overall. Keep it up!

  • gitapat on November 9, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    The replacement of Harbhajan by Ashwin was delayed by the selectors and we must be thankful that they did not prolong it further.I hope the selectors also see sense in dropping Dhoni and Yuvraj from Test Cricket at the end of this series.Dhoni can be replaced by Dinesh Karthick and Yuvraj by Virat Kohli.And Gautam Gambhir should take over the captaincy.

  • caught_knott_bowled_old on November 9, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    The one thing thats going to distinguish Ashwin from other equally skilled and talented spinners is his ability to out-think, out-smart and out-maneuver batsmen. Its obvious that he's constantly THINKING and PLOTTING his wickets. He's obviously ambitious (said he wanted CSK to be the Man United of the IPL)... Skills+Ambition+Luck = This guy is one for the future!!

  • Dev9212 on November 9, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    I think Bhajji should still make it to the Aus tour because I don not see Zaheer on that trip and with Zak out you need someone with experience hence Ashwin and Ohja have to sit out even after giving impressive performance because I dont see India playiing with a 2-2 combination or with 5 bowlers.

  • on November 9, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    "Ashwin's ...general South Indian-ness" Very well put Sharda!

    Hope he realises his potential and takes over the Kumble mantle. Nice if he can give some ammunition against my Aussie mates by getting amongst the wickets Down Under!

  • on November 9, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    bye bye harbhajan.............

  • SanjivAwesome on November 9, 2011, 0:30 GMT

    Ashwin was Awesome. Welcome to test cricket for team India!

  • here2rock on November 9, 2011, 0:07 GMT

    It is not a good wicket and not a true reflection on one's ability. I hold my judgment when he is playing on true sufraces like Australia. India is a way behind when preparing pitches. BCCI is the richest board in the world but the pitch preparation method goes back to 50 years ago. This is one of the reason they struggle overseas.

  • peterss on November 9, 2011, 0:05 GMT

    Good that someone is here to replace the below par harbhajan. Terrible form he is in and rightly dropped. Kudos to Srikanth for taking a bold decision which led to the discovery of a fine talent like ashwin. Way to go! Aussie tour would determine the real quality of ashwin.

  • on November 8, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    Given the excellent bowling performances by Ohja and Ashwin and Rahul Sharma raring to go, I think it will be very difficult for Harbhajan Singh to make a comeback anytime soon, unless, for some weird reason the selectors pick him for the Australia tour.

  • fuad89 on November 8, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    just proud of this bowler.when i saw him first playing for CSK i never thought he would earn national callup.but this is the bad time for bajji as ojha also is doing well up to the expectations.

  • on November 8, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    Congratulations To Ashwin. Excellent debut.Hope and Pray, India will go on and win the test match on the fourth day.

  • NairUSA on November 8, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    Great to see Ashwin getting rewarded for his persistence. As with any bowler, teams figured out Harbhajan due to his long stint in the international arena. A break might give Harbhajan the necessary impetus to reinvent himself.

    Ashwin will have an ardous journey ahead of him to be relevant in the short and long formats of the game. Teams will analyze him once he is profiled as the prime spinner for Team India. He will have to stay ahead of the curve to be effective. Best luck!

  • Rajafan on November 8, 2011, 19:41 GMT

    Come on Ashwin keep it up. You can turn the ball in a way that is difficult for the batsman to predict. Please don't settle with your carrom ball. Now that you got age and energy to research with computers. Practice more and become the World leader.

  • jaggi.jagan on November 8, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    I always felt that he picked up wickets only when batsmen went after him. His performance in both innings proved me wrong. As much a good spinner he is, he is also intelligent and a thinking bowler. If he continues to out think the batters, I am sure he will make his own place in world cricket. As long as he does not turn out to be another Sivaramakrishnan or a Maniner Singh or a Narendra Hirwani, India has a a humble, hard working & thinking cricketer in the form of Ashiwn for a long time to come. Good Luck mate!

  • sweetspot on November 8, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    Let's remember this is Ashwin still trying to come to grips with international cricket. He is thinking so deeply about his game, and that is wonderful to see. His skill, variation and temperament were never in doubt, and it is good thing he has played so much under Dhoni since it is always nice to have a captain who knows how to use a certain player. Ashwin is slowly entrenching himself as the "weapon" Dhoni famously referred to him as in the World Cup. Let's not forget Pragyan at the other end, who is combining very well with him indeed. Finally, and I'm taking a deep breath here, India's spin question seems to have been answered.

  • Nampally on November 8, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    Just like the Day 2 belonged to Ojha, Day 3 belonged to Ashwin. It was crucial to dismiss WI for a total of <200 to have a fighting chance to chase down the total on a deteriorating pitch. What is remarkiable about ojha & Ashwin is that they got 16 wkts. between them when the pitch was at its best on first 3 days of the Test match. Now that these spinners did a great job, it is left up to the Indian batting line up to rise to the occasion and chase down a winnable target on Day4.Sehwag & Gambhir gave India an excellent start in both the innings. It is the responsibility of the middle order to show their capability. Dravid & Tendulkar must go with the determination that they will not give their wicket away come what may. There are 2 full days left, so take your time. Even if they take 3 sessions to score 128 runs, so be it but they must not get out.Don't give any shadow of hope to the WI team to get past them. If India win, they will be back on the right path after England debacle.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 8, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    I am as happier for Ashwin as I'm for India and the art of spin bowling in the world at large. I always thought he is an awesome spinner and what a dream debut to have! What a nice thing, to have a cunning orthodox left arm spinner in Ojha and an awesome off-spinner in Ashwin. Good days for India and the art of spin bowling. Tough times for opposition and Swann. Watch out for Bishoo too. He is an extremely talented attacking spinner with enough guile and variations unlike that hyped Harbhajan Singh. Goodbye Harbhajan Singh. India doesn't need you. If you really love India, you should play as our opponent and help us win. hahaha... Hope you don't get dropped from your Ranji Team!

  • Arpra on November 8, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    Great debut and, great to know that someone can talk so well about their art without resorting to tired cliches. 'So less receptive to so many revolutions', 'contributed myself to it by not moving my hip enough', 'highly skilled and technically accomplished batsmen will delay shot making' - not sure when was the last time anyone articulated offspin bowling/ batting against offspin in those terms. I now look forward to both Ashwin's bowling and his interviews.

  • on November 8, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    congratulations Ashwin... that's a great performance on debut... He should learn something from Harbhajan too, as Bajji is the best off-spinner India produced...

  • Angad11 on November 8, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    So heartening to see a young bowler playing only in his first test match talk so maturely, talk about the technicalities and trying to adapt to situations. I think this is the biggest difference between him and Bajji, who was always in denial and would have cried that there is no bounce on the wicket and keep complaining that the pitch is not good instead of adapting to different situations. Finally, feel so good to see a bowler with more variety and tricks up his sleeve, was sick of seeing that leg stump line bangda from Bhajji. No disrespect to him, a great servant of Indian cricket for a long time but time to move on. Hope he can help groom these youngsters.

  • on November 8, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    Ashwin had waited too long as Singh was given a longer rope because of his star status...on to australia :). He will end up being one of the premier bowlers in test in a years time

  • on November 8, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    ashwin is next kumble......................

  • drjaygoyal on November 8, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    time ashiwn came off age...i was getting tired of the over reliance on bhajji...forget taking wickets...he could not even act like a sand bag and dry up one end...a little bit of competition helps everyone....hope bhajji learns from this...

    i always liked ashwin's attitude as a bowler...always willing to take up da challenge...but the real challenge is when india tour..dat will define him as a spinner..only time will tell..well begun is half done..all da best...

  • on November 8, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Well done Ashwin..Way to go..

  • on November 8, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    He's already 25. He hasnt got the time to match Murli's warnes, Kumble's

  • on November 8, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    What a positive approach? Way to go Ashwin. Finally we got a genuine spinner

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on November 8, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    The attacking bowler he is, no doubt if he plays for long, will definitely join the leagues of warne,murali and kumble. Ashwin is the next big thing in spinner's arena and I am not saying this based on today's performance only!

  • on November 8, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Finally, we got some good off spin bowler. Its the time to get rid of Ineffective bhajji and to blood a young and effective bowler like Ashwin for the most challenging tour of down under.

  • PratUSA on November 8, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Happy to see both Ashwin and Ojha doing well. Harbhajan has been in denial (at least when speaking publically) for long time now and failure of next generation of spinners would have brought him back despite him finishing wicketless at Mohali in last week's Ranji match. I have nothing personal against Bhajji or any cricketer but a place in Indian team must be earned by performance in the present and not just in the past.

  • on November 8, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    That was a great debut by Ashwin! Showed that his bag of tricks are good enough for the longer format too. I just hope that the selectors pick him for the remaining 2 tests in the series. And if he performs well in the series, he should definitely be considered for the series down under. Bhajji should not be picked automatically for the Aus series, considering that his own record in Australia is unimpressive.

  • on November 8, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    He should bowl that carom ball more often! With his accuracy, height and thoughtful bowling he should go a long way. Good luck Ashwin!

  • on November 8, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    Harbhajan saga over........ Ashwinmania begins.......... :D

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  • on November 8, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    Harbhajan saga over........ Ashwinmania begins.......... :D

  • on November 8, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    He should bowl that carom ball more often! With his accuracy, height and thoughtful bowling he should go a long way. Good luck Ashwin!

  • on November 8, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    That was a great debut by Ashwin! Showed that his bag of tricks are good enough for the longer format too. I just hope that the selectors pick him for the remaining 2 tests in the series. And if he performs well in the series, he should definitely be considered for the series down under. Bhajji should not be picked automatically for the Aus series, considering that his own record in Australia is unimpressive.

  • PratUSA on November 8, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Happy to see both Ashwin and Ojha doing well. Harbhajan has been in denial (at least when speaking publically) for long time now and failure of next generation of spinners would have brought him back despite him finishing wicketless at Mohali in last week's Ranji match. I have nothing personal against Bhajji or any cricketer but a place in Indian team must be earned by performance in the present and not just in the past.

  • on November 8, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Finally, we got some good off spin bowler. Its the time to get rid of Ineffective bhajji and to blood a young and effective bowler like Ashwin for the most challenging tour of down under.

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on November 8, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    The attacking bowler he is, no doubt if he plays for long, will definitely join the leagues of warne,murali and kumble. Ashwin is the next big thing in spinner's arena and I am not saying this based on today's performance only!

  • on November 8, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    What a positive approach? Way to go Ashwin. Finally we got a genuine spinner

  • on November 8, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    He's already 25. He hasnt got the time to match Murli's warnes, Kumble's

  • on November 8, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Well done Ashwin..Way to go..

  • drjaygoyal on November 8, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    time ashiwn came off age...i was getting tired of the over reliance on bhajji...forget taking wickets...he could not even act like a sand bag and dry up one end...a little bit of competition helps everyone....hope bhajji learns from this...

    i always liked ashwin's attitude as a bowler...always willing to take up da challenge...but the real challenge is when india tour..dat will define him as a spinner..only time will tell..well begun is half done..all da best...