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Benchmark needs to be same for spin & seam-friendly pitches: Ashwin

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Chennai, Feb 14 (IANS) Teams need to set benchmarks for batting on a spin-friendly pitch like the one that has been laid out for India’s second Test against England at the M.A.Chidambaram Stadium just as they do for a pitch that assists fast bowlers.

The pitch has been a topic of debate with commentators and former players divided on whether the conditions are fair for a five-day Test match to be played on it.

Ashwin, who picked five wickets on the second day on Sunday, said that he is not aware if the England players themselves have any complaints about the pitch.

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“I do not know if they have complaints in the first place. If there are, it is quite natural for people to be taken aback when they face adverse conditions. In all honesty, in the seven days of Test cricket we have played so far, England have competed really well,” Ashwin said in a virtual interaction with the media after the day’s play.

He said that playing on a pitch that assists fast bowlers is more challenging than playing in spin-friendly conditions.

“From time to time there will be conditions which will challenge you whether it is spin or seam. The only comparison I can say is that if the ball is moving around at 140-150kph off the deck, that has to be more challenging than somebody bowling 85-90kph and the ball spinning. Clearly challenges are way greater when you come against seam its just the same way when you play against spin. Take your time and cash in later, its just another form of art,” he said.

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Ashwin said that batsmen tend to have higher expectations of runs when they are playing on a pitch assisting spinners more than fast bowlers.

“I think its about being patient like when you play on a seaming wicket, you need to tide through the early phase and then start putting runs on the board. When it comes to spin unfortunately people have other expectations. They want to drive and cut… on a seaming wicket you can’t do all that and I think the same kind of benchmark needs to be set on a challenging spinning wicket,” he said.

–IANS

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