Ashwin praises fellow spinner Jadeja


Ravichandran Ashwin was full of praise for fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja after the India duo skittled South Africa out on day one of the second Test in Bangalore.

Ashwin and Jadeja took eight wickets apiece in Mohali last week to ensure India took a 1-0 lead in the four-match series and they were to the fore once again at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.

AB de Villiers made a brisk 85 in his 100th Test, but Ashwin claimed figures of 4-70 and Jadeja 4-50 as the Proteas were bowled out for only 214 after being put in to bat by Virat Kohli.

Shikhar Dhawan then made a much-needed unbeaten 45 and Murali Vijay was 28 not out, having been dropped by Imran Tahir, to leave India 80-0 at stumps - trailing by 134.

Ashwin felt the decision to bowl first had been vindicated and hailed Jadeja - man of the match in the first Test - following his latest impressive display.

"I think the wicket was a little damp initially, so we wanted to bowl first and see what we can extract out of it," he said.

"Even the first-class games we play here, generally it does a bit on the first day. So, taking everything into consideration, it was a very rational decision.

"I don't think there was a lot on offer for the spinners. We were not beating the bat as often as we did in Mohali. But Jadeja was very good in the session after lunch.

"He was bottling one end up, which was precisely our plan. From there on, there were a few rash shots played, which brought us back into the game.

"Jadeja is bowling very well. He knows his strengths and weaknesses well. He comes in very handy in the afternoon session because he is very accurate and you know this is what you are going to get from him, which is very important in Test cricket."

Ashwin also spoke of the importance of piling on the runs in the first innings before setting about trying to rip through the tourists once again.

"As the sun comes out and the wicket dries out, it will get difficult for the spinners. This is a high-scoring ground where stopping the runs is very difficult," he added.

"So, on days two and three we will have to bat long and ensure that we put a lot of pressure on them when they come to bat second."