Bat is beating the ball, claims India's Ashwin

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 28/01/2014

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The batsmen have ruled the one-day series so far - and Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin doesn't expect that to change greatly in Hamilton today.

More than 1700 runs have been scored in the three matches between the two sides to date, despite the second match of the series in Hamilton being reduced by rain to 42 overs per side.

Ashwin said the tourists had certainly found the boundaries at New Zealand grounds shorter than what they're used to - which meant even the former domestic opening bat was working on developing his power game.

"I have been working pretty hard on it - it is not something that came naturally to me," said Ashwin, who plundered 65 off 46 balls in the tied match in Auckland on Saturday.

"As more of a batsman at the top of the order, I used to take my time, used to accumulate runs, play shots along the ground.

"But definitely over the last year or so I've put in a lot of effort and I've made a few technical changes when I'm looking to hit and it's coming out really well."

Ashwin batted at seven in Auckland and almost combined with Ravindra Jadeja to steal a win for the tourists.

"It was a good opportunity for me in terms of going higher in the order.

"You don't often get to bat so many overs with the current Indian batting lineup - they always do the job up there."

Ashwin admits his side are still short of their best as they seek to avoid a one-day series defeat.

"We've just not been at the best of our game," Ashwin said.

"That's the best point we can take forward, in terms of saying, we've not really played our best game yet.

"The standards that we've set for ourselves have been quite high, in terms of what we've achieved over the last year or so."

The 27-year-old said India were working hard to reverse their fortunes.

"Even in Hamilton [in the game two loss], we were struggling, we were up against it, the Duckworth-Lewis didn't quite help ... but we still managed to pull off a game that was quite close.

"We've been fighting hard to the end and while things haven't gone our way we just hope for the turnaround."

Ashwin, who also took an impressive 1-46 from his 10 overs in Auckland, expects better conditions for bowlers and batsmen than in the first game in Hamilton.

"There was a bit of rain around here when we were playing, so the ball was sticking on to the wicket a little bit more than other places," he said.

"Auckland's been the best batting wicket alongside Napier - Hamilton was a bit slow, but we don't expect it to be slow this time."

Ashwin said the bowlers in the series haven't been able to have an attacking mindset against the batsmen.

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"That particular thing falls out of the window a little bit with the current scenario.

"If there is spin and you're playing with the conditions that helps you, there is an opportunity to get a wicket. But if it's stacked against you, I think you're fighting against something which is like a wall, you know.

"You cannot box a wall, so you have to be smarter.

"When the ball is thrown at me, I look at the situation and see what is best.

"Because it's quite easy to say, OK, wickets aren't coming, I should look for the wickets and you end up giving those 15-20 runs extra.

"You've got to be really smart in what you're doing and analyse the situation really well."

- Waikato Times

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