India v West Indies, 3rd Test, Mumbai, 2nd day November 23, 2011

I felt cheated by the lack of bounce - Ashwin

ESPNcricinfo staff

R Ashwin, the India offspinner, has said he felt cheated by the lack of bounce on the Wankhede pitch in Mumbai as the West Indies batsmen batted out two days in succession to reach 575 for 9. West Indies made their highest score in the three-Test series, helped by Darren Bravo's 166 and half-centuries by the rest of the specialist batsmen in the side.

"You can't expect the wicket to turn on the first day of a Test match. But you do expect some bounce," Ashwin said. "This game, I was definitely expecting some bounce. So I felt cheated in that regard."

The Wankhede pitch is known to offer bounce, unlike other Test venues in India. However, the theory was proved wrong on the opening day as West Indies chose to bat and ended the day at 267 for 2. Ashwin broke the opening stand of 137 and also took the only other wicket to fall on the day. The rest of the bowlers struggled to penetrate the top order on a pitch that was unhelpful to seamers and spinners.

Ashwin, playing in only his third Test, said he was baffled by the nature of the pitch, having come with bigger expectations.

"This is my eighth game at Wankhede and this is the first time I am seeing a wicket like this. I am quite surprised. It is very much like the practice wicket to the left. I was praying it wouldn't be like that but … It is [usually] one of the most sporting wickets in India. So it is disappointing to see it behave like this."

West Indies' dominance on the second day was built around a stand of 160 between Kieran Powell and Darren Bravo. Pragyan Ojha broke the partnership when he dismissed Powell for 81, before the debutant Varun Aaron, who had a difficult opening day, went on to claim three wickets. Ashwin returned to add two more wickets to his tally, including that of Marlon Samuels, to end with 4 for 154 off 51 overs.

"In first-class cricket, you turn up everywhere and you expect the tracks to be like this," he said. "But there is a pattern to it as in if you bowl a good set of 40 overs from one side and not give away too many runs, you know you will end up with a few wickets at the end of the day."

He said his wickets came at a cost. "Yesterday I thought I went for much more as we had to go for wickets. If I hadn't tried in that last spell we might have gone without a wicket on the day. Today it was more of a catch-up game. We had to restrict them at some point. Fortunately Varun bowled really well and got us those wickets in the middle of the innings. I thought Bravo did wonderfully, in partnership with Edwards and Powell."

With West Indies batting themselves into a position of safety, Ashwin said India's task will be to make the most out of this surface, which hasn't changed in nature. He joked that India will have to adopt the strategy often used in high-scoring domestic games.

"Like Ranji Trophy cricket we have to get the first-innings lead, bat as long as possible and see what we can do on the fifth day."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 24, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    This pitch is "designed" solely to achieve SRT milestone... with or without the connivance of SRT... no matter test result... no matter the whitewash... no matter team's excellence... may the country win... may he fail to register the milestone here.

  • Dummy4 on November 24, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Bravo Bravo...As a proud WI I am happy to see the batting come good. These batsmen are the ones for the future and I am going to predict success against Australia in the home series next year..What are the Indian bowlers and fans complaining about??? The key to India success at home in test matches is to bat first on these slow flat spinning tracks- make an easy big score and put pressure on the opposition..well WI is doing that to them reap what you sow..and it shows when they India failed to win a single match in England..

  • Vimaladhithan on November 24, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    The guy just said what he felt about the current pitch compared to the ones he played on earlier. Whats wrong in it. stop bashing him.

  • Dummy4 on November 24, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    why every one here is bashing ashwin ?? he had a great debut with 9 wickets in his first test then followed it with 4 wickets.he has did a great job as a newbie and inspite of appreciation he gets bashings greatttt.

    he was just expressing his view abt the usual pitch in mumbai by his experience.he is surely a threat to other spinners and. has many variations. compard to overhyped spinners like steven smith and tahir overhyping them as attacking bowlers and never performed to the hype.imho

    by the way this topic is regarding ashwin why u guys pull sachin in every topic

    by the way how many off spinners have a legbreak,googly,carrom ball and the bounce and many more variations like ashwin ?? as a neutral fan im amazd with his skills and variations with gud batting skills .johan botha or van der merwe come close

    he is surely gonna make a big name in international cricket

  • S on November 24, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    What is wrong in talking what one feels as long us IT DOES NOT HURT ANYBODY!! Aren't we talking our opinion in our Office? Aren't we cribbing if we are not getting good increment? DO WE KEEP QUIET BECAUSE WE ARE ONLY ONE YEAR OLD? Come on guys - let us be fair to a humand being in voicing opinion.. He only talks what he feels about what he experienced the whole of two days - he is NOT talking about co-players, spectators, curators, commendators, Umpires - rather he is NOT TALKING ABOUT ANYBODY.. What is wrong in being confident.. It is very mean to read these kind of comments... Kudos Ashwin - let all these be your compliments and go on..

  • Vikrant on November 24, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    @Rahul_78 - I think one would agree with your theory !! I propose another theory - Pitch was doctored so that when WI bat first (WI win toss and bat OR India win toss and field), they pile up a big score and batsmen are under 1st innings pressure. This would help in creating proper mindset that would be reqd. down under, in 1 months time !! U cannot expect Aussies to play with same level of 'expertize' as the West Indians.. do u ? And hence such a made up practise match.. I am more worried about bowling though.. Down under team should (ideally) look like : Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin, VVS, Virat, Dhoni, Ashwin, Praveen, Ishant / Yadav, a physically fit - Zaheer / Yadav..

  • Arulprakash on November 24, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    Ashwin is saying the truth! And he has no reasons to be a cry baby ? He has 17 wickets from 3 tests...he has the most successful Test debut series by an Indian bowler ever!!!! So he knows a thing or two!! And anyone who watched the match would know that the pitch was absolute rubbish.Whether it was deliberately made for Sachin is debatable but Ashwin comments are not!!

  • Dummy4 on November 24, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    ashwin should be happy that there is no bounce on pitch becoz of which he is getting wickets as the ball is keeping low else in bouncy piches he would be hammered

  • Bharat on November 24, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Now , that is not soo good is it not!!!!!! They played well. What do you want Mumbai 2004, Kanpur 2008 all the time????? That is such a bad sport.

  • vikram on November 24, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    India is just paying the price of (1)Not giving Rohit Sharma a chance in place of any one of the Sachin/Laxman/Dravid----He has scored almost same runs against this attack of WI and is better fielder then any 3 (2)Playing with Ishant instead of Umesh Yadav........

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