indian cricket

‘When the opportunity comes, I’ll raise my game’: Ashwin unperturbed by limited-overs exclusion

Despite missing the last few limited-overs series for India, the off-spinner insisted he was not in a ‘desperate’ situation.

Off-spinner R Ashwin has now missed a couple of limited-overs series since being ‘rested’ following the Test series against Sri Lanka.

In his absence, wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have made most of their opportunity, churning out impressive performances against Sri Lanka and Australia.

Their fine display on the field has raised doubts over Ashwin’s future with respect to India’s limited-overs’ outfit.

The 31-year-old, who is currently playing Ranji Trophy for Tamil Nadu against Andhra, is not too perturbed by the whole turn of events.

“For me, it’s not a comeback, I am not desperate at all. One day, the opportunity will come on my door knocking because I haven’t done too much wrong. So, when I get the opportunity, I will probably try and raise my game to the best of my ability,” Ashwin on Sunday after bagging a four-wicket haul.

Ashwin said he had not had many opportunities to watch Kuldeep in action, but rated him highly.

“I just watched one game and a few overs on Saturday. The England timings didn’t allow me to watch much of cricket...But I am sure he would have done well as he is a good bowler and I have enjoyed watching him closely,” Ashwin was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

‘Came back a richer cricketer after County stint’

The Chennai lad was confident his recent show in the County Championships has helped him develop as a player.

“The biggest plus for me was to learn different ways to pick wickets,” Ashwin said. “Maybe, I will not be the type of attacking bowler that I am in the subcontinent when we tour abroad. It can happen that I have to do a good holding role.”

“New Road (the Worcester ground) is a tough place to bowl because you don’t find spin and it’s quite slow. There was a lot to learn for me on how to grip the Dukes ball. I definitely came back a richer cricketer, not monetarily,” he added.

Asked if Hardik Pandya’s emergence as an all-rounder will lead to more opportunities of playing two spinners in overseas Tests, Ashwin sidestepped the issue completely.

“We could play two spinners or one, I don’t know. I am just taking it one day at a time and I find life to be a lot more comfortable,” Ashwin said.

To keep his chances of making a comeback, Ashwin is hard at work on his fitness and is on board with the current team management’s decision to use tools like the ‘Yo-Yo’ test to short-list players for the national side.

“I am a man for systems. If there is any system in place, I would do my level best to try and match up to it. Every leader has his vision on how to build a team, and this is the vision of the current leadership group. It is important to respect it. I have been in great condition ever since I missed the IPL this year. I have trained hard and you have to take the test and decide how it goes,” said Ashwin.

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