Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

India‘s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin believes that India’s first innings total is slightly below par though he added that India’s bowling attack is capable enough to make a match out of this total.

On the first day in Johannesburg Test, India bowled out for 202 as skipper KL Rahul top-scored with a score of 50 while Ashwin also made an important contribution of 46.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

When Ashwin was asked about a good total in the first innings, he replied “(finding a )good total in South Africa is tricky, especially in the first innings. It’s always a good thing to win the toss and bat first and you want to post a good score in excess of maybe 260 or 270 which is around about score.” 

“South Africa always batted first (in the past) and got in excess of 250 and dominated games. Maybe we are a bit short. But I still think we’ve got with our entire bowling arsenal available tomorrow. Fingers crossed. We can definitely make something out of this total,” he added.

Notable that India scored 187 in the first innings when they famously won the test at this venue in 2018. Ashwin also expects the pitch to quicken up on day-2 as he termed the first-day surface as two-paced.

“I just felt the pitch was a little two-paced. Generally, Wanderers has the tendency to start a bit slower and start getting quicker. It did quicken up a bit but it just feels a little different to a typical wanderers pitch so we’ll have to wait and see how it responds tomorrow,” he said.

Talking about his own batting own, Ashwin felt that he got his batting rhythm back in the last year or so. In January 2021, he along with Hanuma Vihari famously saved a Test match against Australia in Sydney. Later he also a hundred in front of his home crowd at Chennai.

KL Rahul after his century in Centurion. Photo- AFP
KL Rahul after his century in Centurion. Photo- AFP

“Since the England series, Rahul has looked the part”- Ashwin

Look, I think in between somewhere for a couple of years, trying to you know sort of get very technically right or whatever it is to try and build on scores, I think I lost a bit of my flow with respect to getting into good positions at the crease and I’ve always I knew even before that I’ve always batted at a good clip.

“So it’s not been a conscious effort to go out there and keep playing those shots. If it’s there, it’s there. For me, I get into positions where I can play some of those shots, which may be some of the other specialist batters might not be able to play but this freedom is what gave me success in the past,” he said.

The 35-year old also lauded the efforts of stand-in captain KL Rahul who carried on his terrific form as he scored a fifty on his captaincy debut. Rahul made a comeback in Tests last year against England when Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal were ruled out due to injuries.

“He (KL Rahul) is one of those players who’s got the game we all know that he’s got the game he’s got the raw material so it’s all about how you keep finding out and keep answering these constant questions that are being thrown at you. Since the England series, he has looked the part,” Ashwin added.

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