Nothing has changed in the pitch, says Ashwin

The ball slipping out of a bowler’s hand and trickling close to the batsman can be a comical sight. The batsman chasing it and giving it a whack can be even more amusing, but not if you happen to be at the receiving end.

It was an embarrassing moment for Test debutant Ravindra Jadeja, who landed the ball in his own half and Jonathan Trott feasted on it with a generous boundary.

That funny moment laid an acrimonious seed on the cricket field and impacted a couple of incidents during the day’s play.

R. Ashwin, the home team’s representative for the media interaction at the end of the penultimate day’s play on Sunday, described it rightly as a “rolling ball.”

About the heated exchanges: We are pushing for a win so it was a little [heated] but nothing got out of hand, just one or two words were exchanged.

(Incidentally, during the day’s play, Ashwin did not run Trott out after the latter had backed too far).

Plans for Monday: Strange things have happened. I am not trying to be very optimistic but we have done it in India before by getting 6-7 wickets in a session. It is just about trying to get a couple of early wickets — Trott and (Ian) Bell.

Any change in the pitch: Apart from the colour, nothing else has changed.

England will play for a draw, what about India: It is very hard to approach anything differently because you can’t keep six or seven men around the bat and bowl and give away runs as well. You got to stick to the basics.

Self-assessment

Some self-assessment followed towards the end of the interaction.

“There is always scope for improvement, but there have been patches in the series where I thought I bowled really well, maybe bowled one of my best spells and still didn’t get rewarded. That does happen in Test cricket, I am learning,” said Ashwin.

Anything wrong with his bowling, asked a senior scribe. The young Ashwin snapped,

“Didn’t I just say that I bowled a few good spells and didn’t get rewarded? I think that answers the question.”

The press conference was over.

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