Towards the end of India’s net session on Monday, R Ashwin became intent on practicing his leg-breaks and googlies. A conventional off-spinner, he uses these variations occasionally to out think batsmen. The Tamil Nadu offie has been magnificent of late, contributing immensely to India’s recent run of T20 victories. Here in the Asia Cup, he, however, is not getting pitches to his liking. But Ashwin is not upset. During an interaction with the reporters at Sher-e-Bangla cricket stadium academy ground, he spoke about the importance of respecting the conditions. Excerpts:
On his mindset for bowling on green-tops
It’s important to know what conditions are thrown at you since you can’t try and beat the conditions. It’s important to understand that it will not spin a lot (here). So it’s more imperative that you put the ball in right areas and get away with the overs and not go for wickets because in Twenty20s, often the wickets are given by the pressure rather than the skill of the ball. That’s what I look to do in such conditions. Where there is a window to attack, I will definitely do it.
On pitches for the Asia Cup
There’s no surprise to it as it’s (their) choice as to what wickets they give. As international teams, we should be able to adapt to whatever conditions we are given. We have been happy with the way we have come out on top and it has served us as a dress rehearsal for the batsmen lower down the order, fast bowlers, and it has given everyone a good outing ahead of the World T20.
On whether Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah’s partnership upfront has helped
It’s good if we can punch in as a group. We know Ashish is an experienced candidate. He has got good ability to do well at the death and Bumrah is able to bowl the yorkers – which we might have been missing in the past few years – and that definitely given us an extra sting to our bowling line-up. Our death bowling is much better than it was in the past. Also, we can now go into the middle overs with more confidence.
On win against Pakistan
It’s just been another game. The one game I would put right on top was the semi-final we played against them in the 2011 World Cup. Apart from that, we don’t take too much pressure because I know what hype goes around it – how the people and media perceive it. We treat it as just another game.
On Virat Kohli versus Mohammad Amir
We needed someone to stick his head out that day as Amir was in the middle of a very good spell. We needed someone to show intent, someone who would attack and defend. His innings gave a lot of comfort to the dressing room and we knew if a 20-30 run partnership builds, then the game will be over since we were just chasing 84. From that perspective it was a great knock. Virat showed a lot of courage and it was great to see his knock.
Lessons from the Pune debacle
The mistake we did it in Pune was that we miscalculated the par score and played a few shots in haste. That’s something we will keep in mind because in such wickets, if you lose one, you have to rebuild again.
On India’s recent string of success
We have played some great T20 cricket in the last two months and it’s more about us getting better and better as a team.