"It was a reality check in terms of not being able to win a Test match for the country on day five when all things were actually set up for a spinner. It was kind of hit on my professional pride and from there on I knew I had to work on certain things", Ashwin said while addressing the media post the match here.
"Obviously when you don't take wickets you don't get bull-headed and believe things will get better from next time. I am not made that way at least", he said.
"It could have so easily been a game where they could have run away with it after the second session. I like to believe I was just dogged enough", he said after the day's play.
Discussing his preparation for the tour, the Indian spinner said that since he is only longer associated with Test cricket and so there is no reason to unfasten the seat belt.
"I play (only) Test cricket now and I get a lot of break in between. So might as well be ready when I get an opportunity. So, there is no reason to unfasten the seat belt, you are always on", he said.
Considering the session as good for India, Ashwin said that the wickets in the last session will help the bowlers tomorrow.
Further, crediting the county stint with Worcestershire for aiding him in this process, Ashwin said that he has forgotten the history of South Africa and all he wants to do is to stride forward.
Ashwin said that the pitch was flat and hard work for all the bowlers.
"Actually I wanted to try and change angles a lot more. There was hardly anything for the fast bowlers at all. If at all there was something, we were trying to get some reverse swing going and try and probably get a few catches in front of the wicket," he said.
South Africa suffered a mini-collapse at the end of Day 1 of the second Test at the SuperSport Park here as they were reduced to 269/6.
Having won the toss and opting to bat first, the Proteas got off to a decent start with openers Dean Elgar (31) and Aiden Markram (94) tackling the Indian bowlers well.
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