Star of India's win R Ashwin doesn't want all-rounder tag
Virat Kohli struck a match-winning 77 as India tasted their first overseas ODI win in seven months, beating Sri Lanka by four wickets in the second game of the tri-series at the WACA Ground here yesterday.
R Ashwin bowls during the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Perth
Riding on Kohli's brilliant knock and Sachin Tendulkar's 48, India achieved the target of 234 in 46.4 overs in what was the first clash between the two sides since the 2011 World Cup final last year in Mumbai.
R Ashwin in full flow at the WACA in Perth yesterday. Pics/Getty Images
India looked shaky at 181-6 when Kohli departed, but man-of-the-match Ravichandran Ashwin (30 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (24 not out) guided them home. World Cupper Ashwin said he was desperate to end India's losing streak in ODIs.
"One victory on the board is very important, I was desperate to get a win today," said Ashwin, who also picked up three for 32 to be adjudged Man of the Match.
Asked whether he would rate himself as an all-rounder, Ashwin said: "I would like to be considered as an offie first."
Captain MS Dhoni praised Jadeja-Ashwin duo for their fighting 53-run-partnership that saw the team through. "It was important they get some kind of partnership.
It was not only about the runs but also about the number of balls they faced. They did well. They didn't play big shots and their running between wickets was good too."
The captain was impressed with the way the offie bowled during the Powerplay overs considering that Praveen Kumar was off-colour.
"Since Praveen had an off-day, it was important for somebody to take up that extra responsibility and Ashwin did so during the first Powerplay. Next time he bowled in the second Powerplay and finally in the slog.
It was very impressive bowling and he took it as a challenge." For Sri Lanka, their poor run in ODIs continued, with just two one-day international wins in 16 matches. Pacer Zaheer Khan (2-44) did well to restrict Sri Lanka to 233 for eight in 50 overs.
However, Dhoni confessed, "few shots that were played should not have been played by the set batsmen." "It's good we have ended on the winning side. We could have also lost.
There were a few shots we shouldn't have played. Once I got out, and when Virat was run out, the match could have gone either way.
It looked as it would go Sri Lanka's way. "It is good to be on the winning side," said Dhoni, after suffering a mid-innings collapse.
Earlier, Dinesh Chandimal struck a crucial 64 off 81 balls while former captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (48) and Angelo Mathews (33 not out) contributed well in what was otherwise an uninspiring batting effort by Sri Lanka.
They face Australia at the same venue tomorrow.