India off-spinner Ravi Ashwin said has that he has learned to live under the burden of heavy expectations and managed to shut the outside noise. Indian bowlers had to grind hard to get the ten New Zealand wickets on Day 3. The visitors' opening batters, Tom Latham and Will Young added a 151-run stand for the first wicket.
Ashwin provided the team a timely breakthrough as he dismissed Young for 89 runs. From there on, India kept chipping in with regular wickets. Ashwin was well supported by Axar Patel as the duo’s eight wicket haul bundled out New Zealand for 296. The home team also got a handy lead of 49 runs. Ashwin said the new ball was a lot easier to play in terms of run-scoring but admitted the bowlers played their roles perfectly.
“Look, I thought we stuck together really well as a bowling unit. 130-140 overs on that sort of pitch and going less than 2.5 runs per over, it was always going to be hard work and we were prepared for that. Everyone played their role perfectly. I felt the new ball was an easier time to bat in terms of scoring runs but we got wickets with the second new ball,” Ashwin told host broadcaster Star Sports before the start of play on day four.
The 34-year-old, who has been a regular part of the Test team since making his debut in 2011, also said he has learned to live under lofty expectations. In his career spanning 10 years, the off-spinner has seen lots of ups and downs, criticism, and controversies. Ashwin though says he has learned to shut the outside noise and let the ball do all the talking.
“I thought it was a wonderful effort. Sometimes it is easier said than done. I cannot be saying clichéd things. I have lived through expectations for a while now, for me, cricket is purpose of my life. I am at this stage where I am shutting the outside noise better than I have ever done,” he added.