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India Vs Australia, 1st Test: Plan Was To Lure Australia Batters To Play Drive Shots, Says Ravichandran Ashwin

Ashwin was India's highest wicket-taker with figures of 8 for 79, with a five-for in Australia's second innings on the third day on Saturday.

Ashwin celebrates after dismissing Peter Handscomb on Day 3 of the 1st Test on Saturday.
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India's premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Saturday said his plan of luring Australia batters to play drive-shots and induce mistakes from them on a slow Nagpur track worked well as the home side won the first Test by an innings and 132 runs in Nagpur. (More Cricket News)

Ashwin was India's highest wicket-taker with figures of 8 for 79, with a five-for in Australia's second innings on the third day on Saturday.

"The wicket was very slow. I have been saying this all through the Test. Not one of those pitches where you might get the gloves ripping off at short leg or silly point.  You need to get the batsman driving on this wicket," Ashwin said after the match.

"So I thought giving them (Australia batters) one of two balls to drive, induce them into shots and probably induce the other half of the bat as well."

The senior player talked highly about the spinners of the home team as they can also bat well, as shown by player of the match Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel

Jadeja also scored 70 crucial runs in India's first innings total of 400, besides taking seven wickets for 81 runs, while Axar contributed 84 with the bat to become the second highest scorer for India in the match after captain Rohit Sharma (120).

"To say (that I got) massive help from Jadu will be an understatement. He has been in phenomenal form. In the last three years, the way he has batted and bowled, we don't need to talk how well he moves on the field and how much addition he has been to the team, he has just been a fantastic cricketer. 

"I am so thankful that I got a bowling partner like him. Axar is also no ordinary bowler either, so we have a very good set of spinners and we all can also bat," said Ashwin.

Asked about the dominant win against a top side lie Australia, he said, "I will credit our batting unit, they kept them (Australian team) long on the field. It was going to be difficult for them to come out of bat. The early wickets set the ton for us today."

In India's first innings, Ashwin came out ahead of Cheteshwar Pujara as nightwatchman after opener KL Rahul's dismissal on the first day on Thursday. He went on to score 23 runs.

Asked if he volunteered to come out at number three, Ashwin said, "It has been going on for a while. I really struggle to cope sitting inside and watching the guys bat in the middle. Sometimes it is too nervous for me these days. 

"I have been asking for an opportunity to go out and bat early on. There was an opportunity (in this Test). It presented itself. My friend Pujara just let me go as a night watchman with 20 minutes to go (on the first day) and I gladly took the opportunity.

"I really look forward to go out and bat. I just feel that I am getting into good position. If and when I get an opportunity, I am always ready. And knowing Puji (Pujara), I think it is going to happen (in future)."

Despite the thrashing at the hands of India, Ashwin said Australia would look to bounce back in the series in the remaining matches.

"I think they (Australia) will introspect and come out with different plans in next game. I have experimented a lot over the years but I have also learnt to stay at the moment and stay then and there is also important. 

"You just keep trying and plan. So, I expect Australia to come back hard and strong. They are a world class side, we all know that."

The second Test of the four-match series begins in Delhi on February 17.

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