“Expect nothing less than a nail-biting series against England” – Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin

Although Team India begin their four-match Test series against England as favourites, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin feels that the visitors could be a tough nut to crack, even in Indian conditions.

In an interview on BCCI’s official website, Ravichandran Ashwin said that India will not take England lightly, adding that he expects the four-match series to be a closely contested one.

Recognising the prowess of the English team, the 34-year-old said:

“Looking forward to a cracking series. England have always been a very tough cookie to crack. Even when we go there (to England) or they come down here (India), they always play good cricket. England and Australia are probably two teams that come very well prepared here. We expect nothing less than a nail-biting series here. We’ve got to take it one day at a time, one session at a time, and win it. Keep ourselves in the process and not really get too ahead of ourselves.”

Ravichandran Ashwin also observed that even though England lost the previous Test series in India 0-4, the result did not reflect how well they played.

He said in this regard:

“The last Test series we played (against England) was back in 2016. That was also a great series. I thought England played really well last time. The scoreline might not suggest the real story. We (again) expect a really good England side to give a wonderful series to us.”

Team India hammered England in four of the five Tests the last time the two sides locked horns in Indian shores in 2016. The final Test of that series was played in Chennai, which will host the first two Tests of the ongoing series.

In that Test, India created history by registering their highest-ever Test total of 759 for 7 declared. In the same game, Karun Nair became the first Indian after Virender Sehwag to register a Test triple hundred.

The four-match India-England Test series kicked off on Friday, with England winning the toss and batting first.

The visitors went to lunch on Day 1 at 67 for 2. Opener Rory Burns (33) perished to Ravichandran Ashwin off a reverse sweep. Soon thereafter, Jasprit Bumrah, playing his first home Test, trapped Dan Lawrence lbw for a duck.

The Chennai Test is England captain Joe Root’s 100th in the longest format of the game.

It is also the first time since 1994 that two Indian umpires are officiating in a home Test.

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