Mumbai: Nov 23, 2011
As the West Indies batsmen creamed Indian bowlers on a placid Wankhede track, off-spinner R Aswhin on Wednesday said he "felt cheated" since the bounce on the pitch was not at all according to his expectations.
Ashwin has so far an impressive tally of 17 wickets in his debut Test series against the West Indies but the lanky spinner did not hesitate to launch a scathing attack on preparation of pitches for the home series.
"You can't really expect the wicket to turn on the first day, but, yes, bounce is something that I will always be looking for which was not happening in the last two games.
"This game I definitely expected the bounce and I felt cheated in that regard," said the 25-year-old bowler after the second day's play in the third Test.
West Indies have piled up a huge 575 for nine by riding on a superb 166 by Darren Bravo and half-centuries by other five top order batsmen.
Ashwin said he has played a lot of games here but was surprised to find such a pitch this time around.
"It's the eighth game I am playing at the Wankhede and it's the first time I'm seeing a wicket like this in Mumbai. I am very surprised about it. It's as similar as the practice wicket we found to the left of it. I was praying it should not be but it is behaving the same way.
"I don't know quite know what to extract from this wicket, as there?s none to extract at the moment, probably on the final day," he said.
The rookie off spinner, who has so far taken four wickets in the first innings, felt he has not been rewarded well for his the effort he has put in so far.
"Yesterday I bowled a lot of overs. 26 on a first-day wicket is a lot for a spinner. With just four bowlers in the team you had to be rotated. In the first session did not bowl many, in the second session I was given a job to restrict the left-handers by bowling on the pads and try to prise them out; it did not happen," Ashwin said.
"Wickets will boost the confidence of bowlers. Very often you bowl really well and don't get wickets. Yesterday I thought I bowled really well and did not get enough wicktes. I have to be satisfied with what I have done."
He said the quick wickets debutant seamer Varun Aaron got in the final session helped him attack more.
"Today it was more a catch up game. We had to restrict them at one point of time and suddenly Varun bowled really well and got us those two wickets in the middle and there was the chance to go at the batsmen again. That's what I did."
He was quite happy with the manner in which he claimed wickets --close in catches.
"It was pleasing. Walking back I thought I have got wickets all around the bat, not getting any wickets at the fence being flogged, that's very, very pleasing for me.
He was all praise for the batting of Darren Bravo and said he has taken some notes on how to bowl to the talented West Indian left-handers in future.
"I thought Darren Bravo batted beautifully along with Powell and one more partnership up front. Once he's set he is quite an ominous batsman and not very easy to stop. He?s come in with a strategy which is very evident to me just to block the ball not hitting the pad because it?s not really bouncing and taking the edge.
"Once a ball just scoots and takes the edge it's a different proposition altogether. I might find him in such a scenario later on but I have my notes taken already."
He said his success was the result of good planning.
"The wickets were the results of some persistent and good bowling. Been quite consistent and to a plan try to be outside the off stump and not on batsmen's pads. Especially the right handers. It has paid off in this series," he remarked.
He was not thinking about the upcoming tour of Australia but felt his visits to the Kangaroo country as part of the India A team would help him.
"It's an exciting prospect if I have to be in Australia and play Australia in the Test matches. Luckily I have had a few tours to Australia in terms of Emerging and all that. Kind of know what it is to go to Australia and play cricket there," he signed off. (PTI)