The last tour of England was a forgettable one not only for India but also for an ace-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. While India had lost the series 3-1, Ashwin came up with a disappointing performance.
Ashwin played just the last two Tests in the five-match series and failed to prove the team-management wrong for benching him in the first three games.
The off-spinner picked up just three wickets from those two appearances, both of which ended in heavy defeats.
India and Ashwin are now gearing up for another England tour and the spinner is now more confident of doing well on the unfriendly wickets.
The reason behind the confidence is the successful county stint for Worcestershire, last year.
In four matches for Worcestershire, last season, he picked up 20 wickets at an average of 29.15 and also averaged 42.80 with the bat.
Worcestershire won all four games to ensure both the Division Two title and promotion.
“I know what to expect in England, in terms of weather and pitches. Worcester’s home ground is New Road, which is a very difficult track to bowl on. I enjoyed my cricket there. I also bowled a lot with the duke ball during my stint. At this point in time, it’s not as difficult as bowling with the SG ball. So I think it should be fine,” Ashwin said during the launch of his TNPL team Dindigul Dragons jersey on Wednesday (June 27).
With the Test series set to be played in the second half of the English summer, the pitches are expected to be drier and aid reverse swing and spin.
But while Ashwin was cautious when speaking about the English conditions, he said the team is confident about its chances.
“Whether it is August or September, it never ceases to amaze me how the English weather keeps changing all the time. I don’t think that will be a factor. Our fast bowlers have done well in South Africa and we batted pretty well too. The kind of overall unit we have with the five bowlers, we always fancy our chances. Going into the second innings, the spinners are always going to come into play,” observed Ashwin.
The five-match Test series will get underway on August 1 in Birmingham.
Prior to that, India and England will play three Twenty20 Internationals and three ODIs. Currently, the Indian team is playing a two-match T20I series against Ireland.