India’s premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has no complaints with the seaming track of the Sher-e-Bangla stadium, which has little on offer for the spinners, as he believes in adapting to different conditions rather than whining about it.
“It is very important to know what conditions are thrown at you. You can’t try and beat the conditions. It is very important to go back and understand that it will not spin a lot on these surfaces. That’s why it is even more imperative that we try to bowl in good lengths, get away with our overs rather than looking to go for wickets,” Ashwin said on the eve of their round robin league match against Sri Lanka.
“In T20 format, it is the pressure that gives you wickets rather than exact skill of the ball. That’s what I look to do and when there is any window to attack I will attack irrespective of the wicket. It’s T20 cricket, we might have slower wicket, flatter wickets in World T20. We have to understand situation rather than complaining about it. Testing ourselves in various environments is good for us,” the off-spinner maintained.
For him, it is the home team’s choice to prepare a wicket.
“It’s their choice as to what kind of wickets they want. We came thinking that the wickets will be slow but international teams need to adapt to whatever surfaces are thrown at them. Hopefully it has given us a dress rehearsal of how to bat lower down the order,” he said.
Ashwin said that Kohli’s batting against Amir was one of “guts and courage” that gave the dressing room a lot of relief.
“We needed someone to stick his head out as Amir was going through a really good spell. We needed someone to show intent. Virat showed that intent while defending as well as attacking, which gave the dressing room a lot of comfort.
“Obviously, we knew that with a 20-30 run stand, the match will be over as it was not a huge score. From that perspective, Virat showed a lot of guts and courage and that was very encouraging,” said Ashwin.
(REOPENS FGN 32)
For Ashwin, Indo-Pak matches are just another game save the 2011 World Cup semi-final, which was right up there in terms of pressure.
“Since I have been with the Indian team, just been another game. Right up there was the game we played in the 2011 World Cup semi-final at Mohali. Otherwise, it’s been the same. I know there is a lot of hype surrounding the match and what all is written.”
Ashwin also agreed that emergence of Jasprit Bumrah and Ashish Nehra’s form have helped the spinners a lot.
“On a lighter note, I can only help myself (laughs). But seriously, it’s nice if we can punch as a group. Ashish is experienced and had a very good IPL. He can swing the ball upfront and bowl at death. Bumrah has a unique action, bowls lethal yorkers and it gives us huge confidence to go about in the middle-overs with a lot of attacking instinct,” he said.
Ashwin said that neither Sri Lanka nor UAE can be taken lightly.
“There is a familiarity since only 10 teams play international cricket and once you have played couple of years, you are familiar with each opposition. Sri Lanka is a team we have played a lot and they can punch above their weight and play as a pack. I don’t know if they are missing (Lasith) Malinga as he is a champion bowler.
“The kind of cricket we play is what’s going to put us in best shape possible. We are looking at longer season of T20 in the next 3-4 months crossing the IPL. Opponent doesn’t matter, not disrespecting anyone but we have to treat everyone with same respect,” he explained.
Ashwin felt this is the time the team is getting better as a group, trying to iron out the flaws as the next three months will be non-stop T20 cricket.
“We have played great T20 cricket in past few months and we are trying to iron whatever little jinx we have and or how better we can get — the 11 in the team and the four outside.