With chances of returning to the limited-overs team looking bleak at the moment, Ravichandran Ashwin has resigned himself to the fate insisting that his comeback will solely depend on how “others perceive” his brand of cricket.
Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have lost their places in ODI and T20I teams to Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Ashwin’s last One-day International came in June 2017 while Jadeja previously played an ODI in July same year. This was during the tour of West Indies. Their last Twenty20 International too came on the same tour when they were part of the one-off match at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. They were first dropped from the team for the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka. The selectors had reasoned ‘rest’ behind the spinners’ exclusion at that time.
However, the rest has been extended due to Kuldeep and Chahal’s consistent performance. Both the wrist spinners have done exceedingly well. Their reputation has skyrocketed since their stunning performance in South Africa. With 17 wickets, Kuldeep was the highest wicket-taker while Chahal was second with 16 wickets as India won the series 5-1.
And with chances not looking bright as of now as far as his return in the ODI team is concerned, Ashwin said it all depends on how the concerned people see his game.
“It entirely depends on what other people (team management and selectors) perceive of my cricket. It’s definitely not in my control. Like any other cricketer, I want to wear the blue jersey and represent India at the World Cup. That’s obviously there deep with in,” Ashwin told reporters at the unveiling of his Tamil Nadu Premier League side Dindigul Dragons.
“At this stage of my career, physically and mentally, I am just focusing on enjoying my cricket. If I land an opportunity, I want to be in good frame of mind to grab it with both hands,” he added.
With his off-spin not proving effective in white-ball cricket, Ashwin had tried his hand at leg-breaks during the past domestic season in Duleep Trophy and later in IPL. However, it looks like he would not repeat it during the upcoming tour of England.
“Nothing for me is experimentation. There is logic behind whatever I do. Before I bowled a delivery of leg-spin in IPL, I have bowled about, probably, a lakh of balls in practice. The thought process alone is experimentation.
“What I might do tomorrow in a game, I really don’t know. As a Test cricketer, I pretty much know what is important in a Test match. If I wanted to bowl a bunch of leg spin and googly, I would have done it in Afghanistan (test),” Ashwin said.
Ashwin further lavished praise on India’s bowling lineup. He also said that the spinners will play key roles in England and said that the team is fancying its chances.
“We have a good battery of fast bowlers who have done exceedingly well in the South Africa tour. We fancy our chances. Going in the second half of the English summer, the spinners will definitely come into play. I’m not going to set any personal records to achieve,” he said.
The senior off-spinner also spoke on the much-talked about yo-yo test which has been in the news recently and saw a few players including Ambati Rayudu fail recently.
“I passed my engineering exams, YoYo wasn’t that tough. If you ask if YoYo is needed in cricket. I have no opinion on that,” he said.
The Tamil Nadu star concluded by saying that if a chance to play county cricket comes again, he would play for Worcestershire again. He had played for Worcestershire last year.
“If I am playing county again, I would turn up for Worcestershire. The deal couldn’t really go through because of the Afghanistan Test and the domestic T20 in England. I am not sure whether I would be playing there at the end of the season,” Ashwin said.
“I know what to expect in England, in terms of weather and pitches. New Road (Worcestershire home ground) was a very difficult track to bowl on. I enjoyed my cricket there. I have zero expectations going there,” he added.