Ravichandran Ashwin was steady without being exceptional as he focussed on building bowling workload before the England Test series in his maiden and only appearance for Surrey in an English county championship game against Somerset.
The Indian off-spinner became the first specialist slow bowler in last 11 years to open the bowling in an English county game after Jeetan Patel in the year 2010.
Ashwin’s day end figures read 28-5-70-1 as skipper Rory Burns, who is also an England opener used him from both ends of the Oval ground.
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Somerset finished the opening day at 280 for 6 in 98 overs with skipper James Hildreth scoring 107 off 212 balls.
The pitch was a slow one and Ashwin didn’t try out much variations and trying to hit one area consistently as he got some drift also. Not many balls turned a lot and he got his first wicket for Surrey early into second session breaching Tom Lammonby (42)’s defence.
With Indians not having too many first-class games, Ashwin and the BCCI took initiative to arrange one game for him to get overs under his belt.
The idea was to get as many overs as possible without displaying variations which the opposition team can pick up through their opener, who is also captaining the rival side.
Ashwin hardly bowled loose deliveries till his 25th over in which only five boundaries were scored which included two conventional sweep shots behind square and one slog sweep in the cow corner region from the Somerset batsmen.