India off-spinner R Ashwin dismissed perceptions of him being suited for red-ball cricket and reminded everyone that he is “no slouch with white ball”. Earlier, pacer Ishant Sharma had echoed similar thoughts and said that perceptions did affect his chances in ODIs. “I don’t know, it is a perception. I am no slouch. In the white ball format, my records are not bad like what it is perceived to be,” Ashwin said.
Recalling his last ODI game Ashwin said, “The last ODI I played, I got 3 for 28. I would always look back at my career and I would like to believe it’s not due to my efforts that I am sitting out (but) it is due to the supply and demand that the team requires.”
Expressing satisfaction with his performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy he said, “I went and played the Syed Mushtaq Ali (T20 tournament) and I had a decent outing. That’s how I look at it. I am playing cricket and it is not like I need to specialise in one particular format. It is the challenges of the modern day game, I will be looking forward to do whatever I can do best.”
On the issue of workload management, he said, “I don’t think as a cricketer you can look far ahead about what needs to be done and how you can manage it. As a cricketer or as a sportsperson, you just concentrate on what happens today. The franchise has invested money on you. Obviously, it is a massive tournament, everybody plays for pride, everybody wants to perform and excel.”
“It definitely stays at the back of the head because it is being spoken about a lot more right now. I am sure the players are responsible enough and more fitness-aware and be able to handle it than they ever were,” he said before adding, “I don’t think going into the tournament people will be thinking about it but as the tournament pans out and the way it goes for each and every franchise and for each and every player, they will take decisions wisely.”
Stating that bowlers have more chances of succumbing to injuries he said, “It is physically harder on the body than the batters. Probably from that point of view, if you look at a (Jasprit) Bumrah or a Bhuvneshwar – Bumrah has been fine but Bhuvneshwar has had a few (fitness) concerns over the last year or so. I think from that point of view the bowlers need to be taken good care of.”
Ashwin also said that there has been no communication with the franchises about the chances of some players missing part of IPL, commencing on March 23, owing to the World Cup that follows from May 30 in England.
“No we have no intimation regarding any such player policy or anything like that and they have been very clear in terms of communication with regards to whatever needs to be communicated to the franchise so far. Yes, the schedule is not out yet like we all know but the elections are something that is more important than anything else,” he said.