Cricket: Indian bowler Ravichandran Ashwin credits Black Caps after thrilling draw in first test

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Cricket: Indian bowler Ravichandran Ashwin credits Black Caps after thrilling draw in first test

Indian bowler Ravichandran Ashwin says his team have “no complaints” after falling one wicket short of victory against the Black Caps in a thrilling first test in Kanpur.

Ashwin was one of the stars of the test, scoring 38 and 32 with the bat and producing returns of 3-82 and 3-35 with the ball.

He took the key wickets of Tom Latham and Tom Blundell on the final day as India closed in on victory, but was denied in the final overs by the Black Caps’ final pairing of Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel.

As the light faded, Ashwin couldn’t get another over in to try and clinch a last-gasp victory, but says he had no issues with the test finishing early due to the bad light.

“We were keeping things under control, we were bowling in good areas and we knew we had the time to go on and put some pressure on them and could get the job done, but light was always going to come [into play] in the last session, there has been bad light in play every single day of this test match, so we did expect it – no complaints,” Ashwin said on Star Sports, with captain Ajinkya Rahane sharing similar sentiments shortly after.

Ashwin credited Ravindra, with the 22-year-old on debut facing 91 balls and batting for an hour and a half to steer his side to safety.

“Getting down to the last session, last mandatory over, I think the pitch played its part. Some wonderful test cricket, the young boy walking out there Rachin Ravindra batted beautifully, showed some great composure, Ajaz Patel with his defence, so it tells you a story – everybody hangs in there, everybody can defend well these days, so it’s not easy as it used to be once upon a time getting these tailenders out.

“The beauty of test cricket is that you need to want it – it’s really hard, it’s not one of those formats where you turn up, have a good day, have a good four over bowl or have a good bat in 20 overs. There is a lot of pain, a lot of hard work, there is a lot of tenacity that you need to bring into play.

“We couldn’t get the job done, but we stuck together well.”

Ashwin concluded his amicable comments by acknowledging the excitement that he had just been a part of.

“A great day of test cricket, I hope people who watched it enjoyed it.”

Of that there can be no doubt.

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