Hamilton, Jan 27 IANS | 6 months ago

off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin admitted that India have been below par in the ODIs against New Zealand and they want to avoid another series defeat when they face the Black Caps in the fourth ODI here Tuesday.


India trailed 0-2, and thanks to heroics from Ashwin, who struck 65 off 46 balls, and Ravindra Jadeja's unbeaten 66 off 45 balls, the third match in Auckland ended in a thrilling tie.

"We've just not been at the best of our game. That's the best point we can take forward, in terms of saying, we've not really played our best game yet. The standards that we've set for ourselves have been quite high, in terms of what we've achieved over the last year or so," said Ashwin.

Ashwin said the tied match at the Eden Park in Auckland was disappointing.

"We were quite disappointed that we didn't shut the game down. We would have loved to win the series, but we kept it open and we can tie it down now," he said.

The 27-year-old said even in the rain-marred second ODI here India came close to winning but were done in by the rain.

"Even in Hamilton (in the game-two loss), we were struggling, we were up against it. The Duckworth-Lewis (rain adjustment system) didn't quite help... but we still managed to pull off a game that was quite close," said Ashwin.

"There was a bit of rain around here when we were playing, so the ball was sticking on to the wicket a little bit more than at other places," he said.

The off-spinner said the team was trying hard to come back to winning ways but things are not really going their way.

"We've been fighting hard to the end and while things haven't gone our way we just hope for the turnaround," he said.

Ashwin hoped the pitch here won't be as slow since the second ODI.

"Auckland's been the best batting wicket alongside Napier. Hamilton was a bit slow, but we don't expect it to be slow this time," he said.

Asked about his batting prowess, Ashwin said: "I have been working pretty hard on it - it is not something that came naturally to me. As more of a batsman at the top of the order, I used to take my time, used to accumulate runs, play shots along the ground."

Ashwin, who has two Test centuries, said he has worked hard on his batting and the results are for all to see.

"But definitely over the last year or so I've put in a lot of effort and I've made a few technical changes when I'm looking to hit, and it's coming out really well," he said.

(Posted on 27-01-2014)