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Ashwin counts the positives

Calcutta: With India biting the dust in the fourth Test at Manchester, there is no doubt that it is a time for introspection. After the heartening victory at Lord’s, India seem to have lost the way and successive defeats in the third and fourth Tests have been the result.

However, Ravichandran Ashwin still tried to look at the positives, even after huge defeats, specially the one at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Losing a Test within three days is definitely not desirable, but Ashwin said: “These things do happen. It’s a team sport. It’s very easy to pick individuals and criticise them. But if others fail, you got to pitch for them.

“Obviously, some of our players are looking for runs. It’s not that they are not in good form or so, but they are getting out to good balls. Yes, there can be one or two bad shots, but that’s all part of the game.”

About India’s poor batting he said: “In the first innings, the ball was doing a bit… Our performance was scratchy to say the least… As far as my batting was concerned, I wasn’t getting into a great position.

“But in the second innings (46 not out), I spoke with Duncan (Fletcher). He knows my game well… Today morning, I had a brief chat with him and things worked in the second innings. The pull-shot gets me going… I was in an awful position in the first innings, which caused my dismissal. In the second innings, it was much better.”

Ashwin would have wanted to bowl in the fourth innings of the Test, but he didn’t get that opportunity. “I thought I bowled pretty well in this match, getting 14 overs. I created a couple of opportunities as well and I didn’t give away too many boundaries. Over the last 50 days, I worked on my bowling… ”

Ashwin added: “A spinner with a 200/250-run lead on the board can always go and attack… Moeen has been good in this series and bowled well to take wickets. Hopefully, we’ll be far more positive in our approach in the next Test.

“The team atmosphere is extremely important… We’ve done some good work over the last eight months in Tests while playing abroad… Hopefully, we’ll gel and pull things back at The Oval.”