Ravichandran Ashwin and Cheteshwar Pujara, reliving some memories from the exciting 4-Test series against Australia in 2017 on an Instagram Live session, talked about how India came from behind to win the Bengaluru Test amidst a war of sledges.
Ashwin, relating how he was under a lot of pressure to take wickets despite not getting much assistance from the pitch, said he got angry at opener Matt Renshaw’s body language and sledged him.
Ashwin said, “I started bowling over the stumps to Warner and Renshaw. I remember bowling to Renshaw, a couple of balls went here and there, to short leg and he had this smirky smile so as to suggest they were on top of the game.
“All of a sudden, I got really angry because I was not getting the wickets and I told him ‘you better not defend and make these runs because if you don’t, 4th innings you guys won’t make 100 runs’. I was angry and said it but it eventually panned out.”
Australia had won the 1st Test in Pune by 333 runs, with Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe running riot. In the 2nd Test in Bengaluru as well, Indian batsmen had failed to play Lyon and Australia had gone into the second innings with a lead of 87 runs.
India were reduced to 120 for 4 but a solid 118-run stand between Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane turned the match in India’s favour. Pujara’s 92 steered India to a total of 274, after which Ashwin’s six-wicket haul in the second innings helped bundle the visitors out for 112.
Talking about where the match changed, Pujara said he could see that the Australians were overconfident of victory when he was batting. “They were sledging us as if they had already won the match,” he said.
India would eventually win the series 2-1.
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