‘Test well poised, ev­ery run is gold dust from here’

Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - - Sport - Press Trust of In­dia sports­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com ■

ADE­LAIDE:Far from get­ting ex­cited af­ter hav­ing Aus­tralia in a spot of bother, In­dia off-spin­ner R Ash­win said Fri­day the first Test is “ex­tremely well poised” and ev­ery run in the re­main­ing days will be worth its weight in gold.

“I thought we re­ally bot­tled them up, soaked them up and put on pres­sure from both ends,” said Ash­win, the most suc­cess­ful vis­it­ing bowler with fig­ures of 3/50.

“We don’t iso­late it as a fast bowl­ing or spin bowl­ing pack. We iden­tify it as a bowl­ing unit to­gether be­cause one can­not ex­ist with­out the other. It was an­other per­fect at­tri­tion day for us,” he said at the post-match press con­fer­ence.

“I bowled an ex­tended 22-over spell even be­fore and af­ter tea to make sure that we do not give away more runs. I see it as neckand-neck in the game. Who­ever can get mo­men­tum from hereon has the edge in this Test. I think it is ex­tremely well poised. Ev­ery run is go­ing to be gold dust from here.”

About the pitch con­di­tion, he said, “I thought there was a bit more stick­i­ness on Thurs­day and the speed has def­i­nitely come down. When we were bat­ting I don’t think it was as slow as it was to­day. I think the wicket has slowed down con­sid­er­ably and I don’t ex­pect it to quicken up more ei­ther. I think it’s go­ing to slow down more.”

Ash­win re­frained from pre­dict­ing if the pitch will de­te­ri­o­rate more. “I don’t know what’s go­ing to hap­pen be­cause it is a drop-in wicket. Be­cause of the amount of grass I don’t see the foot­marks widen­ing as much as they did the last time (in 2014). If any­thing has to be done, you have to do it on the fourth or fifth day. We need to see how much it grips.”

Ash­win felt that the drift he was able to get did the trick for

I think the wicket has slowed down con­sid­er­ably and I don’t ex­pect it to quicken up more ei­ther. I think it’s go­ing to slow down more. ›

We don’t iso­late it as a fast bowl­ing or spin bowl­ing pack. We iden­tify it as a bowl­ing unit to­gether be­cause one can­not ex­ist with­out the other.

On bowl­ing in part­ner­ships

On na­ture of Ade­laide pitch him.

“There is not a lot hap­pen­ing off the straight or fizzing through (off the pitch), noth­ing like that. I was get­ting drift both ways, in and out, and I was able to con­trol both that drift and get the bats­men hold­ing their feet in­side as well as out­side the stump and hence hold them.

“That’s how we got Us­man Khawaja out and Shaun Marsh out as well. That’s some­thing that worked in my favour be­cause of the drift, the ball go­ing away and com­ing back in. It hap­pens in Melbourne too. So I am back­ing on that to give me some re­ally good re­sults,” he said.

Asked about bowl­ing to the Aus­tralian left-han­ders, in par­tic­u­lar Shaun Marsh, whom he has dis­missed five times now, Ash­win said, “There is a cer­tain pat­tern that we saw through his videos be­fore we got into the game. It was a sort of ini­tial set-up that we wanted to do. To­day the plan worked and not in the fash­ion that he dragged it on.”

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