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Ashwin batted well: Rampaul

K.C. Vijaya Kumar
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CRICKET / The West Indies speedster elated at dismissing Tendulkar

FULL OF CONFIDENCE: R. Ashwin played like a top-order batsman while making his maiden Test century. — Photo: K.R. Deepak
FULL OF CONFIDENCE: R. Ashwin played like a top-order batsman while making his maiden Test century. — Photo: K.R. Deepak

Ravi Rampaul briefly froze life at the Wankhede Stadium at exactly 10.09 a.m. on Friday. It was at that moment that he scuttled Sachin Tendulkar's march towards his 100th international hundred.

An elated Rampaul said: “Coach Ottis Gibson and I discussed a plan to get closer to the wicket and just angle the ball away from Tendulkar. He was batting out of his crease, trying to get the ball a little fuller. I realised that and pulled back my length. It was just the right ball at the right time.”

Rampaul admitted that when he went back to fielding in the deep, the crowd heckled him.

Heartbroken

“I know that a lot of fans are heartbroken but we can't just let him go and play freely. We had our job to do and he had his,” Rampaul said.

The West Indies speedster also praised R. Ashwin and Virat Kohli.

“Ashwin came out and assessed the wicket and batted according to the conditions. Kohli did well too,” said Rampaul, adding that a result was still possible in the Test.

Kohli, who along with Ashwin, helped both the Indian team and the fans recover, said he walked in with a positive frame of mind.

“In the West Indies, I was thinking too many things at the same time. Out here, I spoke to Sachin and he told me to do the same things that I do on any given day, and be relaxed. I did exactly that when I went in and it helped me,” Kohli said.

The middle-order batsman complimented Ashwin for his timely effort.

“He came out and started playing his shots. I was like ‘I am standing at one end and handling pressure, trying to get the situation right for the team and you come in and score five boundaries in 10 balls, so what's going on?'

Batting ability

“He was pretty relaxed and confident because of what he had done with the ball. The confidence rubs off and he came out and started timing the ball well. We all know that he has got batting ability, and has two first-class hundreds.

“It was good to have Ashwin scoring at the other end as I could take some time to settle down.

“It was a very good innings from him,” added Kohli.

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