Cricket-India first innings tally short of target concedes Ashwin

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Second Test - South Africa v India
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  • Ravichandran Ashwin
    Ravichandran Ashwin
    Indian cricket player

By Mark Gleeson

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - India’s spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin said his country’s first innings total of 202 against South Africa on the opening day of the first test on Monday had fallen short of what they were hoping for.

India won the toss and chose to bat, seeking to set an imposing score on a wicket that was expected to be conducive to run scoring before deteriorating later on.

"First innings totals in South Africa are tricky," Ashwin told a virtual news conference.

"It's always a good thing to win the toss and bat first and you want to post a good score, in excess of maybe 260 or 270 which is around about what South Africa do when they bat first. They usually put on in excess of 250 and then dominated past test matches, so maybe we are a bit short.

"But with our entire bowling arsenal available tomorrow -- fingers crossed -- I think we can definitely make something out of the score."

Ashwin was referring to concerns over Mohammed Siraj, who went off late in the day after pulling up in his delivery stride with a suspected hamstring injury.

"He’s had ice on hit but we have to wait and see. I’m hoping that Siraj can come out and give of his best," he added.

Ashwin, who came in to bat at seven, was the second highest scorer in the Indian innings, hitting 46 runs off 50 balls in an attacking display.

"I didn’t have any intention of such a strike rate. When I went in, I hit a straight ball that I hit down the ground and then one I hit down the leg side. The balls all presented themselves and I responded," he laughed.

"There has no attempt to go there and play at that strike rate but sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the beauty of playing the game."

(Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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