Numbers are not my goal: Ashwin
Hyderabad, Aug 26: It was the perfect ending to a successful Test outing for Man-of-the-Match Ravichandran Ashwin as he claimed the last New Zealand wicket with his stock delivery, the carrom ball. The offspinner claimed six wickets in each innings to finish with match figures of 12 wickets for 85 runs. These are also the best bowling figures by an Indian bowler against the Black Caps.
In a television interview after the match, Ashwin discussed his bowling and the victory.
On achieving the things that he spoke about before the match
It is easy to talk before the game, you want to achieve this and that; but it is not all that easy. Cricket is a tough game, as well know. I am very pleased with the way I went about my task and the way I stuck to my guns. I have been working on a lot of things and it has come out very well. To succeed in the very first game [of the series], gives a lot of pleasure and takes something off your back as well.
On what goals he had set for himself, apart from the numbers
I have always maintain that numbers are not the key to success. It is not an easy thing. If you keep any numbers as a mark of your success, I will not say you will not achieve it, but that is not how you have to go about your cricketing career. I set goals on where I have to improve and where I have been bowling and all that; especially my line. I think as an offspinner it is easy to lose your line and get on the leg stump of the batsman when the wicket is flat. But I have been working on it. I have been working on my length and working on my accuracy. Not that it has not been there, but definitely, I need to keep on working [on it].
On whether there was any extra pressure on him to perform
It was not a turning wicket essentially. I don’t think it was an unplayable wicket. When we batted – even when I was batting – it was not all that difficult to bat. But yes, there was some deterioration and wear and tear of the wicket, which is natural in India. But this is one wicket where the second innings was much tougher than the first innings because of the speed at which it deteriorated. The wicket wasn’t bouncing and kicking as much as we expected it to. Credit to Pragyan Ojha [for his bowling] as well because it is very easy to get carried away when you see another spinner picking wickets from the other end.
On India’s brilliant fielding
We have been working on it. As a team, we set a goal as to where we need to be by the end of one month, two months and probably during the World Cup and all that. We are working towards that goal, and it is coming off well.
On the Under-19 team’s World Cup triumph earlier today
The team was glued to the television when it was raining. We all watched it together. Credit to Unmukt Chand; he batted brilliantly and apart from that to actually get a World Cup victory in Australia is a much bigger thing than getting it anywhere else.