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‘Plan was to lure AUS batters’ – Ravichandran Ashwin explains his plan he went with for 1st Test of BGT

Ravichandran Ashwin

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‘Plan was to lure AUS batters’ – Ravichandran Ashwin explains his plan he went with for 1st Test of BGT

Veteran India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin opened up about his plan to lure the Australian batters to play the drive shots in the visitors’ second innings in the first Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. India won the opening Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 by innings and 132 runs.

Ashwin was India’s highest wicket-taker, picking 8 for 79, claiming a five-wicket haul in Australia’s second innings on the third day on Saturday and three wickets on Day 1. It was Ashwin’s 31st fifer for India in Test cricket. With the five-wicket haul, he equaled Anil Kumble’s Test record and also went past Harbhajan Singh’s elusive tally.

Besides Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami picked two wickets each in Australia’s second innings as the guests’ were bundled out for 91. While speaking in a post-match presentation, Ashwin said that his plan throughout the game was to lure Australian batters to play the drive shots and induce mistakes from them on the slow Nagpur track.

“The wicket was very slow. I have been saying this all through the Test. (It’s) Not one of those pitches where you might get the gloves ripping off at short leg or silly point. You need to get the batsman driving on this wicket. So, I thought giving them (Australia batters) one of two balls to drive, induce them into shots and probably induce the other half of the bat as well,” he said.

Ashwin heaps massive praise on Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel

Ashwin then praised fellow spinners Jadeja and Axar Patel, who also scored big runs in India’s innings. Jadeja scored 70 runs while Axar contributed 84 in India’s first-innings total of 400.

“To say (that I got) massive help from Jaddu (Jadeja) would be an understatement. He has been in phenomenal form. In the last three years, the way he has batted and bowled, we don’t need to talk how well he moves on the field and how much addition he has been to the team; he has just been a fantastic cricketer,” Ashwin said

“I am so thankful that I got a bowling partner like him. Axar is also no ordinary bowler either. So, we have a very good set of spinners and we all can bat as well,” he added.

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