India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin played down talks around Yuvraj Singh's social media post that came after he picked up his 400th Test wicket in the Pink-ball Test which ended inside two days on a raging turner at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
R Ashwin, speaking to the press on Saturday, said he did not find anything wrong or any hidden agenda in Yuvraj Singh's tweet that took a jibe at the Motera pitch. Yuvraj tweet did not go down well with a section of fans as they took to Twitter to express their disappointment. Notably, the World Cup-winning former all-rounder had said if Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble had similar pitches when they played for India, they could have ended up with 800 and 1000 Test wickets respectively.
finished in 2 days Not sure if that’s good for test cricket !If @anilkumble1074 and @harbhajan_singh bowled on these kind of wickets they would be sitting on a thousand and 800 ?However congratulations to @akshar2026 what a spell! congratulations @ashwinravi99 @ImIshant— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) February 25, 2021
R Ashwin had shared a cryptic tweet a day after the Test, giving rise to speculations that it was in response to Yuvraj tweet and the criticism of the Ahmedabad pitch. However, Ashwin rubbished such speculation and said he wanted to share his thoughts on the said subject and there was nothing more to it.
Speaking to reporters days ahead of the 4th and final Test, Ashwin said: "The reason behind my tweets was not regarding anyone in particular. When I read Yuvi paa's tweet, I did not get affected, I did not find that tweet trying to tell us something. It just felt like a plain tweet. For me, the state of mind I am in right now, I did not find it wrong.
"I know Yuvi paa for a long time, I have the utmost respect for him. Some people amongst us tend to buy what people sell, I do not know the reason why certain people try to sell certain things, but it is clear it's just a perception of what happens."
Finally. We can always have and stand by our opinions even if it’s against the majority as long as we know that it is our own and not the one thats been sold to us!
“The choice is always ours”
R Ashwin and his new bowling partner in Tests, Axar Patel were on fire in the Pink-ball Test as they picked up 18 of the 20 English wickets. Joe Root's men managed just 112 in the first innings and failed to make the best use of an Indian collapse in the first innings as they were bundled out for 81 in their 2nd innings. India were set only a 49-run target and opener Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill needed only 7.4 overs to wipe off the target.
As the Test match ended inside 2 days, the Ahmedabad pitch has been a subject of intense scrutiny. Even as India captain Virat Kohli and his English counterpart Joe Root refused to point fingers at the pitch for the early finish, several former cricketers, including Michael Vaughan, Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss, have lashed out at the wicket.
Vaughan went on to say that India's victory was 'shallow' and that the ICC would look 'toothless' if India is allowed to get away with such wickets. Cook and Strauss hit out at Kohli after the India skipper blamed the batting quality from both sides for the 2-day finish to the Pink-ball Test.
R Ashwin, responding to the criticism, said the talk about the surfaces is getting out of hand and it needs to stop.
Notably, it was Ashwin who led the defense of the pitch that was on offer for the 2nd Test in Chennai. England were bundled out for 134 and 164 in their two innings at Chepauk as the pitch offered assistance to spinners from Day 1. There were plenty of critics of the Chepauk pitch but Ashwin responded to them with his bat by hitting a second-innings hundred which helped India seal a mammoth 317-run win. Notably, Rohit Sharma had hit a match-winning 161 in the first innings as he looked a cut above the rest on a challenging pitch.