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India vs West Indies 2016: Ravichandran Ashwin aiming to become a top-seven batsman for India

Ashwin thanked Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble for having the confidence to promote him in the batting order.

Ravichandran Ashwin India Cricket
Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after scoring his third century against West Indies in Test cricket

India’ s Ravichandran Ashwin has expressed his delight and plans for the future after notching up his third century against West Indies to put India in a commanding position. The off-spinner who along with skipper Virat Kohli scored a century and double century respectively has revealed that he wants to bat permanently in the top-seven for India in the longer format of the game.

India declared their first innings at 556/8 before Mohammad Shami picked up an early wicket to cap off an outstanding day for Team India. Speaking to reporters at the press conference, Ashwin thanked his skipper and coach Anil Kumble for having the confidence to promote him in the batting order.  

“Yeah, I've always wanted to bat in the top-seven for the Indian team, which is a long-time goal that I have to try to strive to get better at,” Ashwin said. “I need to thank Anil Bhai and Virat for having the confidence in me to be pushed at number six. There have been times in the past when I've played really well and haven't really got the promotion.”

Also read: Virat Kohli ecstatic after scoring his maiden First-class double century

Ashwin’s knock of 113 meant that he had brought up his third century in Test cricket against the West Indies and the 29-year-old admitted that he has taken a liking to the bowlers from the Carribean. 

“Yes, I have got runs against West Indies, and if you start getting a liking towards a team, you have that inside factor which tells you that you can do it again,” Ashwin said, before adding that the knocks would not have been possible if he hadn’t received the necessary support from the other end. 

“Whenever I've gone in, I've had a batsman to play with. All the times I made a hundred. Once, I had Rohit and I have Virat and again Virat.That's an important factor for a batsman lower down to get a hundred. And obviously, this game I batted at (No.) six, so that gave me ample time to try and play it out,” he said.

Also read: A look at the records that tumbled as India enjoy a great second day against West Indies 

Revealing more about Kohli’s help during this particular knock, Ashwin said that his skipper has played a key role not just on the field, but off it as well. 

“Virat called me in the morning and said 'you'll be batting at six, ahead of Saha', which is a big boost to my batting confidence,” Ashwin said, revealing the moment he was told about the batting promotion.

“I played an over from Gabriel which was a bit loose, and Virat came up to me and said that is what you need to avoid in Test cricket to be more successful. I really thought I left really well and knew where my off-stump was. It was about batting time more than runs for me this time.”

Another person who has made a huge impact on Ashwin’s batting is India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar, who has been making a few adjustments to the right-hander’s batting stance. 

“Sanjay Bangar worked really closely with my stance for the last 12 months. It has been a challenge. I used to be extra side-on and I had to open myself a little bit. That change is very effective. I've not driven straight down the ground for a very long time. (So) that is a pretty evident one.The other things like my initial movement and other things had to be sorted. It was a process for like 10-12 months,” he said. 

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