India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who took 6 wickets against England on Monday to complete his 28th five-wicket haul in Test cricket, has said that India have fought back well and their goal will be to end on the Test match on a positive note with a good 5th day at Chepauk.
England piled up 578 runs in the first innings before India were bundled out for 337 to give visitors a solid 241-run lead. India batsmen fell in the spin trap of England spinner Dom Bess. Reflecting on the match so far, Ashwin added that winning the toss was crucial because of the way wicket has behaved in Chennai.
“Personally when I saw the wicket I believed it would be a good one to bat but I thought it might do a bit more than what it did on first day. It was really flat and it was a sort of crucial toss for us but I still thought we fought back well through the course of the day yesterday and even today we fought back really well. If we have a good 5th day, we will be quite happy to round off this Test match,” Ashwin said in the press conference after the end of Day 4.
Washington Sundar a special batsman
Further, the Chennai-born heaped rich praises on youngster Washington Sundar, who was also born in the same south Indian city. Sundar played a handy unbeaten knock of 85 runs to take India past 300 runs in the first innings. Ashwin reckoned that people don’t recognise Sundar’s batting potential because of his lower batting positions in T20 cricket. Ashwin asserted that Washington, like any cricketer from Chennai plays spin well and is a “special batsman”.
“Having grown playing club cricket in Chennai and all playing spin is one facet of the game which I think anybody coming from this part will do really well. Washy is a fantastic batsman, I think a lot of batsman going by the T20 format where he plays at number 7 and all don’t recognise his batting talent. He is quite a special batsman.”
With 9 wickets in hand, India need another 381 runs in 90 overs to win the the first Test.
Wish to see Ishant Sharma take 500 wickets
Ravichandran Ashwin also talked highly of Ishant Sharma, who on Monday became only the third India pacer to take 300 wickets in the longest format. He said that the Delhi pacer was one of the most hardworking ever in the Indian dressing room. The 33-year-old wished 500 Test wickets for Ishant as that would provide a roadmap to future India quicks.
“Ishant has been one of the most hardworking cricketers I have seen in that Indian dressing room. He has worked extremely hard for more than just one reasons because being tall itself requires a lot of facets to be managed through a career which has panned out almost 14 years now, if I am not wrong with the numbers. From the Ishant who went to Australia and got Ricky Ponting out and the had gone on so many tours. He had his fair share of injuries. For a fast bowler to get close to 100 Test is not a joke and it’s a fantastic achievement and 300 club, third Indian bowler to get there and the only one closer to him is Javagal Srinath, who is the match referee of this game. I can keep going on and complimenting Ishant but I really wish to see him 400 and probably 500 which will be a roadmap for the Indian quicks going forward.”