Bowling faster paid off: Ashwin
New Delhi, Nov 9: Ravichandran Ashwin, Man-of-the-Match for the first Test match against the visiting West Indies side, became the only the third Indian cricketer to receive the award on debut. The off-spinner claimed six wickets for 47 runs to help restrict West Indies to 180 runs in the second innings of an eventful Test. He had picked three wickets in the first innings thus finishing with nine wickets in the match.
Excerpts from his post-match media interaction:
On receiving the Man-of-the-Match award on debut
It’s a very pleasing effort. I expected to get a few wickets as it was my debut game but I never expected so much to turn in my favour. [I am] very happy about it.
On whether he did anything differently in the second innings as compared to the first
The wicket did ease up. The only thing that was going to concern the batsmen was the variation and the bounce. I thought if it’s going to be slow through the air [then] it’s going to be slow off the wicket as well, so the batters could adjust to the variation and the bounce. So I thought I [would] be a little quicker in the second innings and it paid off.
On Pragyan Ojha keeping up the pressure from the other end
Ojha has been very miserly in this particular Test match. For that matter, he has been very miserly all through his career. It does help when someone is bowling maidens all the way through and chipping away on one end. Unfortunately, he didn’t get more wickets in the second innings; fortunately for me, I got the wickets.
On whether he had to vary his pace and bowl a little faster, especially in the second innings
Yes I had to. I felt [that] the batsmen could adjust because of the slow nature of the pitch; it didn’t really spin. The batsmen didn’t have the fear of being caught at bat-pad which is not a great sign for a spinner. But at the end of the day you will have to live with what is there.