Fatullah: Backing the team's decision of picking five bowlers on what looks to be a good batting track, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin yesterday said that the bowling department will certainly use their Australian experience on placid Bangladesh wickets in the ongoing one-off Test here.
Ravichandran Ashwin. Pic/AFP
Electing to bat, the Virat Kohli-led India scored 239 for no loss on the opening day as Shikhar Dhawan (150 not out) and Murali Vijay (89 not out) demolished the Bangladeshi attack, which comprises four specialist spinners. Ashwin said the Indian bowlers will certainly do better than their Bangladeshi counterparts when their time comes.
"I think it's an individual perception, they probably saw the wicket in a way they wanted to see it and we are seeing it in a different way. We have got bowlers who can exploit with 140 kmph plus, if there is a bit of reverse swing," Ashwin said at the press conference after the opening day's play. "It's also about how the bowlers are bowling. Our bowlers have been pretty good and they have learnt a lot over the last months in Australia.
We are backing ourselves and we are looking to play the best possible bowlers we have. I think every side does that, play the best possible bowlers they have," he added. With weather already threatening to play spoilsport after four hours of play was lost and only 56 overs possible on Day 1, Ashwin said India will try their best to control the "controllable".
"As far as I see it, cricket is a game where even if you look to control the controllable it is very hard. You can't really control the weather it's out of our reach and we have put our best foot forward," said 28-year-old Ashwin. "We have played five bowlers and we will look at the best possible result. If the time is there and if we bowl really well and we get a little bit of help and a little bit of luck then we can force a result.
We will look to control the controllable," he said. Ashwin was all praise for the opening batsmen, who mixed the right dose of caution and aggression to manage a run-rate of 4.26 in the day. "That's pretty much the way our openers bat. Shikhar plays his game usually and Vijay settles into his game. So it's pretty much what happened today. There was no conscious effort in terms of we have to do this.
But there is a good sense of trying to express everyone inside the team and we are looking to play with a lot of freedom and hopefully that's what is expressed outside in the field. "And there is no particular reason why we play a particular combination. It's just about trying to add consistency from where we left off in Sydney.
So thats how we are approaching it," he added. The Tamil Nadu veteran also defended the hosts' decision to prepare a placid batting track. "I think it's the brand of cricket that team's play and that really pulls the crowd into the field. If you pretty much look at Test or one-day cricket around the world, it's pretty
much pitched in favour of the batsman.
You and I, even if I was a spectator I would turn up for a batsman hitting sixes and fours. That's how the game is headed and we need to accept and live with it. "But having said that, the brand of cricket that pull people to watch the game and no team would try and make a wicket that will not suit them. You wouldn't want a green wicket here and see how it goes.
It's about suiting their strengths and wanting to play a brand of cricket that they want to play. That's how pretty much Test matches are played home and abroad. So not really surprised," he said. Defending the much hyped in-house rivalry between him and comeback-man Harbhajan Singh, Ashwin said that they are two off-spinners with different strengths and weaknesses.
"I will bowl the ball there and it's as simple as that. You can't really complicate things. There is nothing to be complicated about as I see it. Two different kind of off-spinners to be honest. He is going to add a lot of value, he has come with a lot of experience and that's going to bring a different dimension to the whole team and set-up.
"But having said that I go about my game very simply, I bowl the ball there and try and do the best I can. We are different kind of bowlers. We owl at different speeds, we have different strengths and different weaknesses. So we will try and compliment each other and try and bowl with a particular plan that each one carries into the game," he said.
The bowler also talked about being dynamic as a team, rather than think about what could happen. "See as I said it's very important to look to control what we can. Turn up today and see what the weather has to offer. As the game opens up and pans out we will have to take a call from there. It's about being dynamic. We can't really look to say we will score 400 or whatever it is and say tomorrow it rains off. It's about being dynamic and trying and choosing on where the weather leads you," he said.
The Chennai-born player also defended the team's think-tank for leaving out the talented Cheteshwar Pujara from the playing XI. "At the end of the day you have got to leave four people out from a 15-man squad. I have been left out in the past. Different people have been left out at different times. So it's not really that you actually look out for sympathy and say oh my God that guy is going to sit out.
That's not how the game goes. "I am not trying to be harsh but I am speaking the truth. Reality is hard and unfortunately today Pujara had to sit out and tomorrow he might play. The scenarios are not that simple. If you have got to play five bowlers, you have to sacrifice the batsman, it's as simple as that," he concluded.