Centurion R Ashwin plays down all-rounder talk
There's something about the West Indies which brings out the best in Ravichandran Ashwin, at least with the bat.
Nearly two years ago, he hit 103 against them at the Wankhede Stadium in only his third Test and recorded the second ton of his career against the same opponents yesterday at the Eden Gardens. To top it up, he also claimed three for 46 in the second innings.
So what difference did he see in these two knocks? “Well, at the Wankhede I was just out to enjoy myself. There was no pressure on me to get the runs then, whereas here, we were in trouble when I came in,” said Ashwin after India’s empathic innings and 51 runs win.
Now that he has achieved something that very few players who are ‘perceived’ to be bowlers do, there was the obvious question whether he looks at himself as an all-rounder: “Well, to be fair, I don’t look at myself as anyone.
I am there in the team to perform, so I am happy whenever I am able to contribute whether it’s with the bat or ball,” said the 27-year-old who was unbeaten on 92 at close on the second day. So did he feel nervous with barely eight runs to get for the magic figure? “I slept very well at night so I hope that answers your question,” he said in good humour.
India now move to Mumbai for the second Test, and more importantly for a game that will be Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th and final outing. Ashwin wondered what the scene there would be like. “Having seen the response of fans here, I shudder to think how things will be in Mumbai,” he remarked.