Ravichandran Ashwin reveals how Australia’s tactics of bowling short balls became a blessing in disguise for him and Hanuma Vihari in their epic match-saving partnership in the third Test of the recently concluded victorious Border-Gavaskar series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
R Ashwin, who couldn’t sit properly due to severe back pain, and Hanuma Vihari, who pulled his hamstring early in his innings, batted and batted for over 250 balls in the fourth innings in Sydney to avoid a loss.
The off-spinner points out that both the batsman were not taking singles and decided not to rotate the strike. But it was not because of the hamstring injury to Vihari, which everyone including the Australians thought, it was indeed because Ashwin was been constantly hit by the short balls from the pacers, and Vihari couldn’t move his feet forward to Nathan Lyon.
In his YouTube video, Ravichandran Ashwin said, “Australia’s tactics during the fourth innings of the SCG Test really made me curious. Their tactics looked like Australia did not realize what we were doing.
“They must have thought that we guys were not rotating strike because of injury, but the main reason was one guy cannot move his foot forward and the other one was getting body blows, and then suddenly, it became our strategy.“
The more beaten I got, the more resolve I got: Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin, who missed the Brisbane Test, survived 128 balls in Sydney and was peppered with several blows from the Australia fast bowlers – however, that only made Ashwin’s resolve stronger.
The pair felt that Aussie had panicked as they didn’t bowl Ashwin fuller lengths and kept bowling bouncers. Add to it Tim Paine’s sledging which was a clear indication that the hosts are losing control over the game as the victory slipped away from them.
“Then, what happened was, my back became stiff and I could not move. They made a mistake. If they had pitched it up to me, I might have edged or found it difficult, I feel. They thought to scare us off by hitting us everywhere by bouncing,” Ashwin added.
“It worked counterproductively. The more beaten I got, the more resolve I got. What more is left to be thrown at me? I got an inner resolve. Add to this, Tim Paine started banter as well. You can take it as you want, but at that point, Vihari and I thought that Australia has lost it,” Ashwin further said.