Ravichandran Ashwin might not have had the best of tournaments so far at this year’s IPL but it will be downright stupid to write him off so early in the edition.
So far, the Indian offspinner has only bowled 2.4 overs on an average and has not completed his quota of overs on most occasions. But not so against Kings XI Punjab where he was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with figures of 2 for 14.
Ashwin opened up about a lot of things and one of them being the IPL fantasy team. “I play IPL Fantasy on a daily basis. It’s quite a lot of fun but I am also pretty serious about it. I try and not make any substitutions in my team on the day CSK are playing because it is very hard to take calls. I get a little emotional and make wrong decisions. I don’t like to do that because I want to win in whatever I do, even in the fantasy league. So, I actually didn’t have myself on the team today.”
Having had a very tough time in the early part of the tournament, Ashwin showed his true self at Chepauk and went on to add, “I expect myself to be bowling four overs in every game. But we play six bowlers in every game and sometimes it is the game scenario that dictates who bowls and how many overs. Sometimes, when the seamers have bowled well and you don’t get to bowl in the first 10 overs, it gets very difficult to have four overs in the last 10. These are the challenges that I am facing personally and I will have to see how I can fit into the mix. I want to be prepared to bowl four overs in every game and to the best of my abilities. To add to that, I want to bowl the way I want to bowl, because the ball is coming out really well and I would like to pick wickets each time I bowl.”
Chennai Super Kings have always thrived on spinning conditions but this year it is their seamers who have come to the party. Talking about his take on that Ashwin said, “I think in a bid to make the Indian players better equipped on the overseas tours, there is more grass left on the wickets this time. It is too early to comment how much effect it will have on the tournament but I think the grass on the wicket is definitely aiding the fast bowlers with the new ball. And as the game goes on, because the ball remains more or less the same in a 20-over innings, it stays on pretty well. That is becoming a challenge for the spinners. If you see, even when the spinners have picked wickets this season, they have gone for 35-40 runs. This has been the trend so far in this IPL and I think the team that will assess it and adapt to it well will succeed.”