India vs Australia: Gratifying to take 5-wicket haul on Ahmedabad pitch, says R Ashwin

India vs Australia, 4th Test: R Ashwin worked hard over 2 days to pick 6 wickets in the first innings in Ahmedabad on a batting-friendly pitch.

By India Today Sports Desk: India off-spinner R Ashwin, it seems, enjoyed the hard grind en route to his 6-wicket haul on Day 2 of the 4th Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. After having picked up his first 18 wickets of the series on rank-turners in the first 3 Tests, but he had to bowl close to 50 overs for 6 wickets on a flat pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

There were times in the series when teams lost their entire batting side in a session but in the 4th Test, there were as many as 2 wicketless sessions on the first two days. Ashwin picked up his first wicket of the Test as early as the first session but he had to wait until the 2nd session on Day 2 to pick up his second. However, once he picked up his second, Ashwin went on a rampage and completed a 6-wicket haul.

Ashwin helped India break a 208-run stand between Cameron Green and Usman Khawaja, the two centurions for Australia, by removing the former, having him caught down the leg-side. He then got the wickets of Alex Carey (0) and Mitchell Starc (6) in quick succession before returning to wrap up the tail with the wickets of Todd Murphy and Nathan Lyon.

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Ashwin earned praise for his hard-earned 6-wicket haul as he helped India remain in the contest on big batting days for Australia. The visitors posted 480 in the first innings.

“It’s pretty good, two days of hard work under the heat on a pitch is good work. It’s gratifying to take a 5-wicket haul under such conditions, I think this haul was waiting, throughout the series I felt very good about the way I bowled, the way it came out of my hands and from the surface, but you can’t take 5 wickets every time, so it always comes around,” Ashwin told the broadcasters on Saturday.

Ashwin said he did nothing different between his first wicket, which came on Day 1, and the remaining 5 on Day 2. However, the off-spinner added that he watched a lot of footage of Travis Head to outfox the left-handed Australian opener.

“Hardly any change, even Travis Head dismissal, it might look soft, but I felt there was something different, he bats in a different manner, I had to watch out on how he bats, make the changes, think about his potential weaknesses and then work on it. On Day 1, there was a bit of early morning moisture, the ball was going through, but it became better after the first session,” he added.

India went past 100 on Day 3 despite losing Rohit Sharma early as Shubman Gill hit a brisk fifty in Ahmedabad.



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