In India's three-wicket nail-biting victory over Bangladesh at Dhaka on Sunday, Ravichandran Ashwin reiterated why he's an ever-dependable person in tough situations for the visitors' with the bat in Test cricket.
On day four, Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz took three wickets in the first hour of day four to leave India in spot of bother at 74/7. But Ashwin (42 not out), along with Shreyas Iyer (29 not out), defended solidly and brought out a flurry of boundaries in a magnificent 71-run partnership to take the visitors' over the line in a chase of 145 and secure a 2-0 series sweep.
"Game was on the line. I thought Bangladesh played really well. The game had to be won the hard way. Shreyas batted beautifully, if he wasn't the player of the series, I'd have shared this with him. In these situations, sometimes you feel you need to hit your way," said Ashwin in the post-match presentation ceremony.
The off-spin all-rounder, named Player of the Match for a match haul of six wickets and scoring 12 and 42 not out in both innings, added that his plan was to support Iyer through a gritty partnership for the eighth wicket.
"They bowled well. But we needed to trust our defence. I wanted to get in and support Shreyas. Pitches were good, they were a touch slow. But the ball made a difference. The hosts put us under a lot of pressure. Good performances as well."
Senior top-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara was named Player of the Series for scoring 222 runs in four innings, including an unbeaten 102 in the first Test at Chattogram. He felt that he regained the rhythm through his County Championship stint with Sussex earlier this year, where he had hit three double centuries.
"It's been a hard series. Series was very competitive. I feel I've found my rhythm. A lot of hard work has been put in, I've played many first-class games and have worked on my game." "If you look at the gap between Test series, playing first-class helps keep in touch.
Each game is important with the WTC and you have to be on top of your game. I've played many first-class and Test matches. You need to be mentally strong."