Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has said that having fresh bowlers on the park worked in favour of India in the fourth and final Test against Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane.
On Tuesday, Australia's fortress -- The Gabba -- was finally breached. It took 32 years and two months, but the unthinkable was achieved as an injury-ravaged young Indian team beat Australia by three wickets against all odds in the final Test to take the series 2-1.
In the fourth and final Test, India was without R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav. The bowling attack comprising of T Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, and Shardul Thakur played the fourth Test for the visitors.
"I thought Gabba must be really their fortress or something given the way they were hyping. It was 1000 wickets experience versus our 13 wickets experience. In hindsight, it worked out in our favour, I guess. Fresh bowlers on the park. This is the first time that 20 players have been used to win an overseas series," Ashwin told fielding coach R Sridhar on his YouTube channel.
Before the fourth Test, Australian media had started reporting that the Indian team does not want to go to Gabba looking at the pitch. During the third Test, Australia skipper Tim Paine also sledged Ashwin, saying that the hosts cannot wait for the Indians to reach Gabba.
"Indian team should not leave the bubble. But 15,000 people will be allowed inside the stadium to watch the match. More like, we are caged animals inside a zoo. The crowd will have a go at us. Then they accuse us of not coming to fortress Gabba. Tim Paine missed the stumping of Pant in the second innings of the Gabba Test. But I started liking him, he invited us, played the perfect hosts by missing the stumping chance, and awarded us the series as well. Can't say he helped us win 2-1 but yeah, on a sarcastic note, he did," said Ashwin.
Fielding coach R Sridhar also echoed Ashwin's sentiment, saying that having fresh bowlers on the park worked in India's favour. He also said that this series has taught the side the importance of workload management.
"It does not matter even if you are the world's best, because if you have tired legs, obviously you cannot execute your plans as well you would want to. So, it's great learning for workload management for all of us," said Sridhar.
"It is a combination of everything, it is multifunctional. Sydney Test gave us confidence, we batted for 131 overs, we literally tired out their bowlers. But batting first gave them an advantage with an extra day off to their bowlers. But still, we had fresh belief. 'Mind over matter', as they say. The boys had the belief that they can do it. I think the whole India sent their good vibes to us," he added.