Ashwin thinks like a batsman

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India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has heaped praise on India spin king Ravichandran Ashwin after the tweaker passed 250 wickets in Test cricket on day four of the Test against Bangladesh.

Pujara scored an unbeaten fifty in India’s quick-fire innings but following their declaration the game has been left in the hands of the bowlers.

Ashwin claimed two scalps in the final session of the day after having a tough time of it in the Tiger’s first innings but the match has now very much moved into the spinner’s natural habitat.

There are few bowlers in the world who can secure a final day victory with more aplomb than Ashwin and he will be looking to add to his impressive wicket haul as India chase another win.

Speaking to the press after play on day four in Hyderabad Pujara said: “Probably, he (Ashwin) is the toughest spinner when it comes to any opposition team. The teams now plan on how they are going to face Ashwin. I would like to congratulate him for reaching 250 wickets.

“The kind of brain he has, he thinks as a batsman, what are his weaknesses and areas he needs to bowl. I think it’s his experience that makes him one of the strike bowlers in this team.”

Pujara feels that Ashwin’s first innings return was down to him being given the role of restricting scoring rather than being allowed to attack the batsmen.

He went on to say:  “He (Ashwin) understands that there are situations where he has to bowl tightly. If you look at first innings, he tried his best.

“He bowled to a plan. There might be some occasions, he can’t get wickets. But that’s the best part about this Indian team.

“We bowl as a unit, we bowl in partnerships, most of the times. Ashwin is the one who takes wickets and Jadeja plays the role of a holding batsman. Sometimes Ashwin has to play the role of holding the batsman and he did that in the first innings.”

The middle-order stalwart feels the pitch will start to turn more and more now bringing Ashwin and partner Ravindra Jadeja into the game even to a greater extent.

Pujara added: “I think the ball has started turning now. The wicket is slightly on the slower side but it has opened up and there should be more assistance for spinners tomorrow.

“We had expected the ball to turn from day three and it started turning little more from fourth compared to third day. Lot of credit goes to the bowlers.

“It wasn’t an easy wicket where you can run through the sides. You needed a lot of patience. They (bowlers) had to work hard to get them out.”

The man who has enjoyed a rich run of form in Hyderabad, scoring 500 runs at the venue in three visits, is confident that the bowlers will be able to wrap up yet another win for India on home soil.

Pujara rounded off:  “We are hopeful that we will get those seven wickets as early as possible. They batted well in first innings, but it was difficult conditions for our bowlers, I don’t want to criticize our bowlers. We are hopeful we will get seven wickets in next couple of sessions.”