New Delhi: Unfamiliarity of playing in ‘new’ centres has prevented India from enjoying home advantage in the ongoing Test series against England, said Ravichandran Ashwin.
India are unbeaten at their own backyard for 12 years, across 16 Test series. The last team they lost a Test series was in 2012, 1-2 against England. The ongoing five-match series is locked 1-1 with the visitors winning in Hyderabad and India at Vizag.
The third match will be held in Rajkot from February 15 followed hy the fourth match In Ranchi from Feb 23 before the concluding match at Dharamshala from March 7. THe BCCI usually opts for a rotation licy to award matches in centres.
Ashwin, who a wicket away from taking 500 dismissals in Tests, said that usually in a four-five match Test series, at least one or two happen in metro cities. But this time matches are scheduled at venues where there has never been such marquee Tests series before.
“Unlike that, this time, it’s happening in venues that weren’t a part of the World Cup matches. For most Indian players themselves, these venues are new,” Ashwin said on his Youtube channel.
‘Familiarity makes a difference’
The off-spinner added that they are several players in the Indian team who haven’t play a Test match at Vizag and it is possible because there are so many Test venues.
He cited England as an example saying that new players like Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed would be well versed with the playing conditions in the traditional Test centres like the Oval or Lancashire.
But because of so many venues, even for Indian players it’s the first time they are playing a Test or even a first-class match in these venues.
“So the home familiarity has gone missing in these cases. Of course, they would have played IPL, T20 or ODI matches here and there. But in playing red ball in a longer format, the familiarity really makes a difference,” he said.
The right armer also praised Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill for their 209 and 104 run knocks in the second Test and Jasprit Bumrah for his 6/45 in the first innings.
He added that Bumrah, who is the leading wicket taker in the series and the World No.1 Test bowler, is the real show stealer.