India’s ace offie R Ashwin spoke to the media at Colombo post the team’s historic win over Sri Lanka which led to their first series win in the Emerald Isle after 22 long years.
Ashwin, who scored a crucial half-century on Day four and also wrecked Sri Lanka in the final session of the game, attributed the win to a total team effort.
Excerpts from his interview:
The defining last session on Day five of the Colombo Test?
RA): As a unit we stuck up pretty well and with the ball getting soft earlier we knew that it would definitely help the spinners later on.That final session saw us carve out a win thanks to the fact that the wicket was giving us help and also some solid team effort.
RA): Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav bowled exceptionally well and at times the Sri Lankan batsmen could not even touch the ball.
Virat Kohli also had a huge role in us communicating well and it was a total team effort.
On the use of head-phones?
RA): Of course I used it because it costs a lot (laughs)! But on a more serious note I now know what Test cricket is all about and it was just to try something different.
Getting into rhythm?
RA): I wanted to replicate what Rangana Herath did in the Galle Test and always strived to get into flow. Despite losing that game I worked doubly hard on getting into the right flow and rhythm and worked on it at practice and in both the second and third Test matches as well.
Bowling longer spells?
RA): Look a three to four over spell is not good enough for a spinner and especially in such dusty and humid conditions bowling a longer spell will take you to the limit.
But then everyone did well to shrug off the Galle debacle and put in a Lion hear-ted effort to help us win the series.
Inspiration from Herath?
RA): Yes I did take cues from him and tried to bowl stump-to-stump and keep a tight line which paid off in the end as we wrapped up Sri Lanka’s batting order in the final session.
His game turning half-century on Day four?
RA): It came despite me battling a tennis elbow issue and it definitely feels special. Though I did not spend too much time in the nets honing my batting, yet, the only thing on my mind out there was to middle the ball and stay at the crease for as long as possible.