India and West Indies treated the viewers with one of the fascinating days of Test cricket as the battle ended with the scores level for only the second time in the history of a game.
West Indies toured India for a three-match Test series in 2011; it will always be characterised for an impressive all-round performance from a debutant Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin picked 22 wickets in his debut series, scored a brilliant century in the last match, but still, the series is remembered for something Ashwin couldn’t do in the final match at Wankhede.
With three runs needed in the final over, Ashwin failed to propel India to the finishing line, drawing lots of criticism and scrutiny despite scoring a ton in the same match. He got run out when two runs were needed off the last ball and ended the match in a tie.
In his recent interview with Mazher Arshad, the off-spinner has recalled the sequence of events in the last moments of that famous battle.
“In the final innings, we looked good to chase, but all of a sudden, we had a collapse,” Ashwin said.
“I found myself batting with the tail. It was very interesting because I had a hundred in the first innings. Second innings, I was again batting well. I was 20-odd. I was left with I think Varun Aaron at the other end, and I think it might have been two balls, two runs to get… we had two wickets in hand.”
The 33-years-old explained that he didn’t want to take a risk by playing a big shot.
“I didn’t want to risk going for a big shot, and then, the next batsman coming in and getting out – we could lose the Test match, from being in a position of strength, it was not even 50-50,” he added.
With two runs required off the last ball, the right-handed batsman hit the ball towards long-on and went for a double but got run-out midway.
Ashwin revealed his conversation, after the disappointing result, with the then Indian skipper MS Dhoni.
“After the game, MS Dhoni came to me and said, ‘You could have taken a chance in the previous ball. Probably taken a single, and let Varun Aaron slog one off the last ball’. So yeah, that’s hindsight.”