Antigua, July 23 (ANI
): Expressing that he was pleased with the opportunity to bat No. 6, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin
has said that he received a big boost when he was asked to bat ahead of wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha in the opening Test match against West Indies in Antigua.
The 29-year-old Ashwin repaid the faith reposed in him by head coach Anil Kumble and captain Kohli, scoring 113, his third century of Test career.
"I need to thank Anil bhai (Kumble) and Virat for having the confidence in me to be pushed at number six. There have been times in the past when I've played really well and haven't really got the promotion. This really says a whole lot of things about me," Ashwin told reporters at the post-match press conference.
Double centurion Kohli and Ashwin anchored India's declaration of 566 for eight on the second day of the opening match against the West Indies in Antigua on Friday.
"Kohli called me in the morning and said 'you'll be batting at six, ahead of Saha', which is a big boost to my batting confidence. I had worked on it over the past one month in Chennai with my coach and I'm very happy with the way it's come out
"I've always wanted to bat in the top seven for the Indian team, which is a long-time goal that I have to try to strive to get better at," Ashwin said.
The premier off-spinner also credited batting coach Sanjay Bangar for ironing out his batting flaws. He said: "First things first, Sanjay Bangar worked really closely with my stance for the last 12 months. It has been a challenge. I used to be extra side-on and I had to open myself a little bit. That change is very effective. I've not driven straight down the ground for a very long time. That is a pretty evident one.
"The other things like my initial movement had to be sorted. It was a process for like 10-12 months, and on the way I did lose a few innings as a batsman as well." (ANI