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Taking five wickets was not on my mind: Ashwin

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Visakhapatnam, Nov 19 (IANS) Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who on Saturday bowled India to a 200-run lead against England with his career's 22nd five wicket haul, said he only wanted to bowl to his strength.

Ashwin returned with figures of 5/67 as England were bowled out for 255 in their first innings shortly before the tea break at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here.

He caused plenty of trouble for the English duo Ben Stokes (70) and Jonny Bairstow (53) on a pitch which does not have too much grass.

Ashwin, who scored a half-century in India's first essay, ripped through the English batting line-up as India ended the third day with a healthy 298-run lead in the second innings.

"Hadn't had a five-wicket haul against England, but it was not at the top of my mind. I knew I would get it if I stuck to what I do right. The challenges are actually a hassle for the batsmen. Not every ball spins," Ashwin said after the match.

He explained about the plan which he and Skipper Virat Kohli discussed to dismiss Joe Root (53).

"I was in the middle of a very good rhythm. I told Virat I will get Root out caught out at short midwicket. Virat said let's get mid-on up and make him go for a slog sweep. I thought the moment he steps out I was going to go wider. That worked," Ashwin said.

"The last wicket was slow so I changed my action to create more air space. It is not about trials, it is about having the heart to try it in the middle of the game. I am sure I have it," he added.

--IANS

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