India’s heroes laud Bengaluru track
Bengaluru, Sep 3: After an emphatic win the first Test, India fought tooth and nail to win the second match and claim the series. Once again India’s bowling attack, especially the spin duo of R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha played significant roles in India’s victory. While Ojha claimed a five-for in the first innings, Ashwin claimed five wickets in the second innings to take his series tally to 18. The offspinner was adjudged the Man of the Series for his brilliant performance.
However, another Indian player who played a crucial role in this series was Virat Kohli. The youngster, who has become a vital cog in the Indian batting line-up, came up with superb back-to-back knocks to ensure India won the second Test. He followed his a magnificent century with a crucial half-century in the second innings.
Excerpts from Kohli and Ashwin’s interviews during the post-match presentation ceremony:
Man-of-the-Match Virat Kohli:
On what was going through his mind in the second innings when he came in to bat a crucial juncture and was under pressure
Well, definitely [there was pressure]. The New Zealand team came back strongly in the match getting four wickets [quickly in the second innings] and the fifth one as well. So, it was a tricky situation when I went in to bat. But me and MS [Dhoni] decided that we will take it ten runs at a time and try to see the team through; and the plan worked for us.
On his approach in both innings, where he took his time early on
Yes, that was the key [to my batting]. My natural game is to be positive, but I need to control my shots every now and then and that’s what I thought [I will do] before this Test match; that I need to be more patient [and] that I need to apply myself more. So, I had a plan in mind and luckily it worked for me.
On whether the pitch behaved differently today
There was a bit more turn compared to the first three days. But it was a great cricket wicket [and] we needed to apply ourselves as batsmen and bowlers could get something out of the wicket as well so it was a good pitch to play on. Just a bit more turn on the fourth day.
On his batting
I am not thinking too much. I am not thinking how many runs to score or what I want to achieve in this calendar year. I just want to enjoy my cricket, stay in that calm nice space and try to be as consistent as possible.
Man-of-the-Series Ravichandran Ashwin:
On a terrific series with 18 wickets in two Tests
Things have gone according to the plan. The wicket at Hyderabad was much more receptive to spin but the wicket in Bangalore was much more challenging. I am happy that I have come out trumps here.
On what he did in Bengaluru where the wicket had bounce
The first two days had much more speed and bounce then the last two days; but it was fun today. I saw Jeetan Patel bowl, but what little adjustment I made was to try and alter the pace on the third day. It [the wicket] was a little more docile and it was not spinning as much as we expected. So, that’s the only change I did and varied the pace in the air.
On whether the bounce in the wicket makes any difference to his bowling
I enjoy only bounce. Without the bounce there is no chance of the ball going to short-leg or taking an inside edge and going to backward short-leg or for that matter even to the slips. So, that’s one of the important ingredients that I require in a pitch to excel.
On bowling with Pragyan Ojha
I have always maintained that I have enjoyed playing with Pragyan Ojha, the reason is that we have played together since we were 16-17 years old and I know what exactly he does. He complements the other bowler really well. He has not always ended up with the big hauls, but I was really happy that he got a five-for in the first innings.