Seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Saturday said that it is surprising to see people not recognise the batting talent of bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar.
Sundar had played an unbeaten knock of 96 runs in the first innings as the hosts went on to take a lead of 160 runs in the fourth Test. Team India on Saturday roared into the final of the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) following an emphatic 3-1 series win over England.
"It is quite surprising because Washington bowled in some of the IPL franchises and he shot with them because of his bowling in the powerplay. It's quite surprising that people don't recognise that he grew up as a batsman all his life who could bowl. I am not surprised at all because I have batted with him. He works hard on his batting and we have discussions around how he should look to bowl more often. He loves his batting and he is quite a special batsman, I am not surprised at all," said Ashwin while replying to an query during a virtual press conference.
When asked about whether being in a bio-bubble makes the series win against England more special, Ashwin replied: "Nobody wants to leave the Indian team, right? You want to be here and play as much as you can. Somewhere I feel, the life inside the bio-bubble is not easy at all. You have to work on your mental spirits and you constantly need to keep on motivating yourselves. I think the last eight months have been hard but team spirit, the sort of bonding we have had because of this bio-bubble is something I have not experienced in the last decade of cricket I have played.
"It has been special, understanding the people and the opportunity for someone to understand you as a person in the common lounge we share, it has been quite special. Some of those comebacks we have made is not a surprise. Looking forward to going back home because you want to see your kids and wife, it has been quite a special ride," he added.
When asked about Rohit Sharma's growth as an opening batsman, Ashwin said: "I do not even understand this question of me seeing the evolvement of Rohit Sharma. It is quite funny honestly when I hear this question. My history with Rohit goes a long way back, he has always been a special batsman. It is not a surprise that you are putting Rohit on the same lines as Sehwag. Nobody is surprised that Rohit Sharma is doing what he is doing. He is a special cricketer, I just hope he goes on to win a World Cup for India."
Answering whether the win in the fourth Test shut the pitch critics up, Ashwin replied: "This series win is a testament to the fact that this is a very good Indian cricket team, that is all I would like to say. The criticism around the pitch, all that, the other day, Sunny sir was saying something that makes complete sense. Only because you are giving attention to people who are making a mockery of cricket, I think we are encouraging them to do more and more stuff."
"I would like to see one day when there is a lot of grass on the pitch somewhere else in the world, our Indian commentators talking about it and then putting an Instagram post, I would like to see that and how the global media reacts to that, then we will know, who is at fault," he added.
( With inputs from ANI )
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