Deserved the Man of the Match award a bit more than Virat Kohli, says Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin became the first Indian to score a century and take five wickets in the same match twice during the Test match against West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. In this match, India thrashed West Indies by an innings and 92 runs on their home ground. Ashwin, a right-handed batsman and right-arm off spin bowler of the Indian Team, spoke about his performance in an interview with bcci.tv.
Ashwin batted at No. 6 for the first time in his career and scored his third century. He won the Man of the Match award for his all-round performance in the opening Test of the four-match series in West Indies.
Ashwin said that he was quite surprised when he was selected to bat at No. 6 instead of No. 8. He mentioned how the Indian Captain Virat Kohli encouraged him about his batting at No. 6 and said that Kohli trusted him and wanted to see how that worked for the team. Ashwin said that while batting at No. 6 there would always be more opportunities to score a hundred than at No.8.
Bcci.tv made a comparison between Ashwin, Sir Garry Sobers and Ian Botham, mentioning that only Sir Garry Sobers and Ian Botham have taken a five-for and scored a century both at home and away venues.
He added “These are some of the biggest names that cricketing world has ever heard. To be really modest and analytical of it, it has taken me five years for me to repeat it outside the sub-continent, that is something I always wanted to break. Getting a five-wicket haul away from sub-continent is something I have worked earnestly towards and I am really pleased for myself.”
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He mentioned about the difficulty in bowling in the right speed as the ball was getting softer and he also mentioned that he was in touch with the Indian Coach Anil Kumble to know about the right speed. Ashwin said that the bowling was getting sluggish and slower and took continuous suggestions from Kumble to maintain the drift and perfect pace. It was India’s first Test with Kumble as the Head Coach and Ashwin mentioned this to be an advantage for the team.
He added, “That is the biggest advantage of having Anil bhai in the dressing room.”
Speaking about the ‘tussle’ between him and Kohli for the Man of the match award, he said, “Honestly, I think this Man of the Match award could have gone to Virat Kohli as well. If I had not got a five-wicket haul or if I had just got a five-wicket haul, I would have shared with him, but with seven wickets and a hundred, I felt I deserved it a bit more. But I am sure with the kind of form he is in and the way he is batting, he is going to go and cap it up somewhere on this tour.”