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‘Felt like I was making my debut again’ – Ashwin relishes return to Test cricket

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“I didn’t imagine it sometime back that we would we playing Tests again with what was happening around us”

Leading wicket-taker, crucial runs with Cheteshwar Pujara, an economy rate of under two throughout the Test. That was R Ashwin the last time India played in Adelaide. Yet there were questions around whether he should be the spinner representing India in Adelaide this time, not least because by the end of the last tour his coach had openly said Kuldeep Yadav was his No. 1 choice in away Tests.

You would expect the old Ashwin to follow up his four-for to put India in a dominant position in the Test with an equally aggressive verbal display in the press at the end of the day, but he is a changed man now. This has been an extremely tough year on everyone, and Ashwin says he is thankful to be able to be back on the park and wants to enjoy every minute he spends on it. The competitor on the field is still there but he is not smarting for a fight off the field.

“I am so happy we are playing Test cricket again,” Ashwin said at the end of the second day. “I didn’t imagine it sometime back that we would we playing Test cricket again with what was happening around us. For me, being extremely mad about the sport and still doing a lot of work even during the lockdown, it just felt so refreshing to go there and have a bowl. The feeling was great. Pink-ball Test and all that. Just felt amazing to go out there. I felt like I was making my debut again. I enjoyed my bowling.”

A lot has been spoken about the styles of the two offspinners in this Test, Ashwin and Nathan Lyon, especially the bounce Lyon gets and how it works in Australia. “I think every spinner is different,” Ashwin said. “I think sometimes things can get blown out of context when comparisons are made with how one approaches his trade in comparison with the other. Even in this Test, Nathan and I bowl very differently. We are both very different bowlers. Successful in our own way.

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