India off-spinner R Ashwin has hit out at the media, asking them to stop criticising the nature of the pitches at home. The Chennai-born bowler has been in brilliant form in Test matches, especially at home and has emerged as one of the country's biggest match-winners.
England, who performed relatively well in the first Test match at Rajkot, have looked all at sea at Visakhapatnam, struggling against the turning ball especially the spinners. The visitors were at 103 for 5 at close of play in reply to India's first innings total of 455, on a day dominated by Indian spinners.
"I don't know why these jibes come back at us. Honestly it looks like a jibe from where you guys are looking at Indian wickets. It does honestly. You guys watch the game through the day and pitch is something you can definitely assess better than we do. Honestly, one day I would like to walk into a press conference and stop answering questions on the pitch because that's as good as Indian pitch one can get", Ashwin said, as quoted by India Today.
The off-spinner was the pick of the Indian bowlers, tricking batsmen with his mix of deliveries. He eventually picked up two wickets including that of England's most dangerous batsman Joe Root.
"I was not at all surprised. He jabbed at one and it went through the gate. It's a very different pitch to what we saw in Rajkot. It's not one of those easy paced pitches. He nicked one almost too short leg. We were expecting a shot like that. Obviously the wicket is massive."
Ashwin has been in good form with both the bat and ball of late and will be key if India are to bowl out England and take a substantial lead on Day 3.