We should target follow-on: Ashwin
Hyderabad, Aug 24: After India were dismissed for 438, the two Indian spinners, R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha, came to the party to skittle out the New Zealand top-order and reduce the visitors to 106 for five at stumps on Day 2 of the Hyderabad Test.
The wicket that seemed flat earlier suddenly came to life when the Indian finger spinners came into the attack as they exploited the bounce in it with the new ball.
R Ashwin, who claimed three of the five wickets to fall, told the media gathering at the end of the day that with the conditions favouring them, the hosts will look to enforce the follow-on and win with a big margin.
On whether he was surprised to pick a wicket off his first ball
Yes, kind of. I just wanted to land it in a proper place. It kicked off a bit and the drift was going the other way, so I think the batsman got beaten by that.
We guys bowled well and stuck to our guns. Obviously, they lost McCullum early and hence they were a bit behind us. But at the end of the day, I think we bowled well.
How was the ball behaving?
The new ball being hard and the seam a little more upright when we spinners started bowling, it helped us get a bit of bounce and get a few wickets up front. As the ball got older, it was slowing up a little bit. We have to be patient to get wickets tomorrow; we will have to stick to our guns. There is a little bit of bounce if you bowl it slower through the air; quicker through the air it’s obviously going nicely on to the bat.
On whether India should have got 500 runs
That’s what we were aiming for and if we had got a partnership in the lower order, we could’ve got there. But having said that, 440-odd is a very good score and the one with which you expect to be in a dominant position in the game.
On whether the team is targeting follow on
With respect to how the wicket is behaving and the cloudy conditions, we should be looking to enforce the follow, bowl twice and get the job done.
On whether he’s now relying more on his stock ball than the carrom ball as compared to the start of his Test career
I don’t want to compare between the start of my Test career and now. I have always maintained that I have always relied on my stock ball much higher than I have on the carrom ball. Yes, it has done the trick once or twice, I have got people out with it, but it’s not that I bowl one every over. Definitely, I am looking to be patient on it. I need to be one up in One-Day and Twenty20 cricket; I would rather try that more often in the limited-overs game because inevitably I will get hit. I have played enough first-class cricket to know what the stock ball is. I would rather get pinned down bowling the stock ball than the carrom ball. The carrom ball is much more of a defensive mechanism; it is not an attacking ball at all.