Spinner R Ashwin on Wednesday said Australian captain Steven Smith’s look towards the Australian dressing room for DRS advice on day four of the Bengaluru Test was “completely unheard of”.
Speaking to his team-mate Cheteshwar Pujara in a bcci.tv video, Ashwin said the incident reminded him of his junior cricket days.
“Steven Smith actually turned back and asked the dressing room if he could take a review,” Ashwin said. “That is completely unheard of. The last time I thought that to happen was in an Under-10 game, when my coach used to suggest where point fielders and cover fielders used to stand.
“It was really surprising. I have a lot of respect for Steven Smith, but that was very very surprising.”
There was a lot of chat on the field between the Indian and Australian players through the Test match, and Ashwin and Pujara detailed specific instances during their conversation.
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Pujara said he had been in David Warner’s ear, telling him about Ashwin’s record against him. Ashwin ended the match having dismissed Warner in both innings – and nine times over his career.
“Well, see, they were talking a lot and probably sledging is something which, as a unit, we felt that we can give them back,” Pujara said. “They were always under pressure when they walked in to bat, and I wanted to make sure their batsmen were thinking about it, especially David Warner. Whenever he walks in to bat, Ash [Ashwin] is always happy, so I always keep reminding him that Ash is the one who picks [up his wicket].”
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After dismissing Mitchell Starc, Ashwin sent him off by repeatedly pointing to his own forehead – mimicking the gesture Starc had made after Abhinav Mukund had top-edged him for six in India’s second innings.
“I saw yesterday, Abhi [Mukund] pulled Mitchell Starc for a six, he top-edged it for six,” Ashwin said. “But yes, I don’t think he was in any sort of hurry when he pulled that ball, and Mitchell Starc suggested that he would hit him on the helmet. I don’t know, people generally have the habit of saying I’ll hit you back on the helmet at Gabba.
“It doesn’t matter, this is Bangalore, so I thought I must tell him that he got hit off me, in the first innings, on the helmet.”
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Pujara also revealed that he had batted with a sore neck while scoring 92 in India’s second innings.
“It was my neck which was troubling me a lot,” Pujara said. “To be honest, it was a serious issue when I went in to bat in the second innings. I would like to thank Patrick Farhart, our physio, who made it possible for me to bat, and bat at No. 3, because there was one stage where I felt I might not be able to bat No. 3 because my neck was really sore. But he worked on it and ultimately I achieved the goal for the team.”