India vs England 2016: Jayant Yadav opens up on his special friendship with Ravichandran Ashwin
India's latest off-spinner grateful to bowl alongside the world's top ranked bowler
Having got a surprise opportunity to make his debut in the second Test against England at Vizag, Indian off-spinner Jayant Yadav made an instant impact by contributing in all departments of the game. With Ravichandran Ashwin continuing to weave webs around the opposition, the 26-year old has opened up on the advantages of playing alongside the world’s number one ranked all-rounder/bowler.
At a press conference following the end of the third day’s play, he also shed light into his special friendship with the Tamil Nadu spinner and expressed eagerness to learn the intricacies of the trade from him.
Recalling their bond since the previous two seasons, Jayant said, “We met through Eric Simmons (former India bowling coach). He was preparing for his England tour (of 2014) and (it was) very sweet of him to help me as I was just playing Ranji Trophy that time. Just to see how he prepares and to get some inputs from him was quite special. We stayed in touch, we have a good rapport and a good friendship going on. He talks a lot of sense about bowling.”
Upon receiving his maiden Test cap from former all-rounder Ravi Shastri, he found himself walking into bat on the second day with India precariously placed at 363/7. However, the right-hander held his nerves and put on a vital partnership with Ashwin to regain the hosts’ advantage.
Acknowledging that their rapport extended beyond the field, Ashwin went on to reveal, “Me and Jayant go a long way back. Two (or) three years (ago), he had come to Chennai and he was staying in my house for about two weeks. He practised with me, I know the boy really well. He is someone who can really understand what I say. We have a really good rapport. I felt really happy for him, the way he batted positively. Every bit of communication between us was auguring into the partnership getting deeper.”
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Jayant complemented his batting effort with quite an eventful display on the field. With England threatening to get off to a solid start, he produced a moment of magic to effect a run-out in collaboration with wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha. He followed it up by dismissing Moeen Ali and aggravating the visitors’ slide.
Even though he bowled only five overs on the third day without any reward, the Haryana cricketer witnessed a stellar performance from his friend on a surface which was not a raging turner by any means. Utilising the crease shrewdly, Ashwin generated significant drift and loop to outsmart the batsmen.
Jayant admitted, “A lot of things fall into place for that drift to happen. Ash is bowling beautifully like a dream. You have to work on it, it does not come overnight. You have to put a lot of effort into it. A lot of technical things also go into it.”
With the Vizag pitch showing signs of variable bounce, he might not even need to replicate Ashwin’s enviable drift in order to make a mark. A combination of consistent line and length could suffice to spin England into submission during the last two days.