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Ravichandran Ashwin urges Indian batsmen to score big

Ravichandran Ashwin urges Indian batsmen to score big
Ravichandran Ashwin was once again among the wickets on day one of the second Test against South Africa in Bengaluru.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has urged the Indian batsmen to bat for long periods of time and put a big total in their first innings of the second Test in Bengaluru.

India won the toss and opted to bowl first, a decision that paid dividends as South Africa were bowled out for 214 runs in their first innings.

Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja shared eight wickets equally and caused trouble for South Africa on a pitch that had some moisture in it under overcast conditions.

Though India managed to get eight wickets to spin, Ashwin reckons that when the sun comes out and the pitch dries out, batting will get a lot easier.

Stating that the bowlers will find it tough when the pitch starts to dry, Ashwin wants his teammates to bat deep and put pressure on South Africa.

“I think it's going to be hard work, I think when the sun comes out, the wicket will probably dry out a little bit and it will be harder for the spinners.

“So I think day two and day three we need to bat long and try and ensure we put a lot of pressure on them when they come to bat in the second innings.”

Jadeja, who is on a comeback trail, bowled 16 overs and conceded 50 runs while picking up four wickets, including the scalp of AB de Villiers.

Ashwin also felt that the pitch in Bangalore was not completely conducive to the spinners but credited Jadeja for bowling well in the second session.

"I don't think there was enough on offer for the spinners as we were not beating the bat as often as we have done in Mohali.

“But Jadeja was very, very good in the session after lunch bottling one end up, which precisely was our plan.

“They played a few false shots.

“We were conscious at the end that we might go for 50-60 runs in the last 2-3 wickets, but we were pretty aware of what was going to come our way.”

Ashwin has become India’s main weapon in the sub-continent conditions and his ability to strike regularly has been an asset for the team.

The 29-year-old also opined that he always backs himself to succeed against any batsman, especially in the initial 20 minutes.

"Whenever a batsman walks out there, I give myself a 60-40 chance.

“I think I have the best chance to beat the batsman in the first 20 minutes, when he is around.

“Especially, the way it is coming out of my hand, I am confident of beating anybody in the air in the first 20 minutes.”

South Africa were rescued by the ever-dependent de Villiers, who scored a crucial 85-run knock which was instrumental in the total crossing the 200 run mark.

Ashwin further disclosed that India did not feel that de Villiers was in a position to take the game away from them single-handedly.

"There were occasions today, when he (AB) was edgy and not completely taking the game away from us.

“Obviously, he knows this ground and his angles well and the regions where he wants to hit.

“You really need a good delivery to prise him out.

“But it didn't cross our mind that one man can take this away."

At stumps, India were positioned at 80 for naught and were trailing by 134 runs, with Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay batting on 45 and 28 respectively.

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