first_imgR Ashwin’s class was never beyond doubt. He looked little undercooked in Rajkot and on a surface that had little to no help for spinners, India’s strike bowler struggled to get going. (Match Scorecard | Key Highlights)Ashwin had been out of action for nearly a month before India’s five-match Test series against England got underway from November 9. The star off-spinner was rested for the ODI series against New Zealand and understandably, he was rusty.In the first Test as England staged a strong fight, Ashwin finished with 3/230. His other spin partners, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra failed to find any kind of momentum either and India’s attack looked listless for the first time in four years. (Ashwin, Jayant script India’s memorable win)However, the equations changed in Vizag. The pitch for the second Test was executed to turn square (it was the same venue where Mishra’s five-for had spelt doom for the Black Caps). But that was from the case. India made the most of good batting conditions after winning the toss and posted 455. England, led ably by Joe Root and aided by a stubborn partnership between Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, were on the cusp of another great fightback, before Ashwin, who finally found his rhythm, tore through the lower-order to snare another five-wicket haul.In Vizag, Ashwin could also count on an old friend and a debutant – Jayant Yadav. After Mishra’s ordinary outing in Rajkot, India decided to blood Jayant, an off-spinner, against an English side that had in its ranks seven left-handed batsmen.advertisementThe two off-spinners, in tandem with Jadeja, accounted for 14 of the 20 English wickets in Vizag as India wrapped up a massive 246-run win.Besides, Ashwin and Jayant were involved in a 64-run stand in the first innings after a bit of a middle-order wobble.Ashwin, who now has 231 wickets from 41 Tests, was in awe of Jayant, who he goes back a long way with.”Jayant is a great kid. His work ethics are great. He has a very strong temperament. There’s nothing hurried about his action,” said Ashwin.Jayant was in Chennai four years ago and it was Ashwin who had taken care of his lodgings and made sure that the youngster was comfortable in his hometown.Perhaps that close bond also allowed the two to bat out of their skins against a disciplined bunch of England bowlers after they had struck enough blows on a vaunted middle-order.”I had to tighten my batting. I have done the hard yards. It was also a beautiful partnership with Jayant. Communication is something that gets me going and he is someone who absorbs communication very well,” Ashwin said.Jayant, who had a memorable debut, and finished with figures of 1/38 and 3/30 with the ball and scores of 35 and 27 not out, said it took a lot of pressure off him, bowling in tandem with Ashwin.”Bowling in tandem with Ash is great. It takes the pressure off you. He always gives meaningful inputs and he never questions what you are doing,” he said after admitting that there were some nerves on the first day.last_img