Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had one of the significant roles to play in their series-levelling eight-wicket victory over Australia on day four of the second Test in Melbourne. Ravichandran Ashwin picked six wickets in the match as it helped India exorcise the demons of Adelaide a week ago. The 34-year old hugely credited stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane’s calmness for their turnaround.
India did find themselves in a hole after the first Test in Adelaide since Australia bowled them out for 36 in the second innings to take a series lead. Their batting massively fell apart in the face of some brilliant bowling by the hosts. With the visitors losing Virat Kohli, there were question marks over their competence and stability for the remaining matches.
However, Ajinkya Rahane’s calmness prevailed in the match as his hundred formed the bedrock of India’s batting in the first innings. The bowlers deserve equal credit as they kept denting Australia’s hopes of any comeback in the match by picking up wickets at the regular intervals. India chased the fourth innings target of 70, losing only two wickets in the process.
I thought a good first day would set us on the road: R Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin, who has ten wickets in the series so far, commented that getting skittled out for 36 was never going to be easy to come back from, especially after losing Virat Kohli. However, their group stuck together, their bonding, apart from Ajinkya Rahane’s calmness boded well for them. The off-spinner said that it enabled the group to go out there and express themselves. Ashwin added that they believed an excellent first day would be a good sign for them.
“Getting bowled out for 36 was never going to be easy and a country like ours – we’re quite a proud cricketing country and losing Virat as well him going back was a setback for the team. But we stuck on well – me, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah, all of us we have a great bonding inside the team and obviously Rahane’s calmness inside the dressing room provided us that stability to go out and express ourselves in this game. I thought a good first day would set us on the road,” Ashwin told 7 cricket.