Ravichandran Ashwin: Not right to be pained so early on in the series
Apart from Virat Kohli, no other batsmen managed to cross 50, as the England seamers exposed the chinks in India's batting against the moving ball
Ravichandran Ashwin defended India's faltering top order after the visitors' 31-run loss in the first Test against England here on Saturday. Apart from Virat Kohli, no other batsmen managed to cross 50, as the England seamers exposed the chinks in India's batting against the moving ball. Kohli scored 46 per cent of India's runs in the Test which highlights the lack of contribution from the other batsmen.
"I think it was quite a tough pitch to bat on. I don't think batsmen from both sides were able to make runs with a lot of freedom barring the partnership between [Joe] Root and [Jonny] Bairstow in the first innings and then Virat from our side. It has been quite a struggle that way, so I think we need to give batsmen some space that way," Ashwin told reporters after the loss.
Hardik Pandya en route his 31-run knock in the second innings on Saturday. Pic/Bipin Patel
While such a narrow loss was heartbreaking for the team, Ashwin felt that it was important to look ahead and focus on what is a long series. "I think this is a game where we would have liked to finish on the winning side. No doubt about it, but there are a lot of things we can feel proud of at the end of this game. It's a long Test series, so to feel defeated or pained so early on in the series is unfair. At the moment, it is all about the feelings that I am bringing out, and I don't feel that bad about it as of now because I thought we competed really well and made two comebacks and probably didn't close out the game when the initiative was on our side," he said.
On a personal note, Ashwin believed his experience with Worcester in the county championships had benefited him a great deal and allowed him to get familiar with the Duke ball. "Personally, there were quite a few learnings from my stint last year here. Not just in terms of pure skill, but also how the game is being read here and players go about their business in terms of pacing out their innings and how much the Duke ball does in the first 40 overs," he said.
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