Ravichandran Ashwin (left) has been India’s pick of the bowlers in the two ODIs India have played so far © Getty Images

By Julian Guyer

Birmingham: Sep 1, 2014

Indian off-break bowler Ravichandran Ashwin said that spin had put the world champions in a “pretty comfortable” position in their ongoing one-day international series with England. World champions India lead 2-0 with two to play ahead of Tuesday’s fourth One-Day International (ODI) at Edgbaston.

Spin bowling, which England have long struggled against in one-day cricket, has been key to India’s success in the series so far. Ashwin took three for 39 in India’s six-wicket win at Trent Bridge on Saturday, a match where the tourists spinners had a combined return of six for 122 in 30 overs.

“It’s pretty comfortable for us,” Ashwin told reporters at Edgbaston.

“It’s been one of our strengths, especially in the middle overs, we have always operated in that fashion,” he added.

“There are times when the batsmen get going and we are not able to take wickets.

“Those are really hard times but if we get a wicket or two and we can put a hold on the batsmen then that’s a comfortable domain for us.”

It was spin that broke an England opening stand of 82 in Nottingham but India’s preceding 133-run saw the breakthrough come from a double strike by paceman Mohammed Shami.

“The ideal situation (for the spinners to come on) is when they (the opposition) are two or three down and that’s what happened in Cardiff when Shami bowled that spell,” Ashwin explained.

“But if that doesn’t happen you have to see how much of a restrictive role you are going to play because the batting team is going to have nine to 10 wickets in the bag.”

Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here