Having lost his ODI spot to younger crop of wrist spinners, senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has resigned himself to the fate that his comeback will solely depend on how “others perceive” his brand of cricket.
Ashwin and another senior spinner Ravindra Jadeja have lost their places to young duo of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who have done well to become automatic selections.
Since getting the axe in 50-over format, Ashwin had been repeatedly asked about his future and as usual gave a pointed reply.
“It entirely depends on what other people (team management and selectors) perceive of my cricket. It’s definitely not in my control. Like any other cricketer, I want to wear the blue jersey and represent India at the World Cup. That’s obviously there deep with in,” Ashwin told reporters at the unveiling of his Tamil nadu Premier League side Dindigul Dragons.
With Chahal and Kuldeep firmly entrenched, it seemed that Ashwin has made peace with the fact that chances of comeback in the ODIs in near future looks bleak.
“At this stage of my career, physically and mentally, I am just focusing on enjoying my cricket. If I land an opportunity, I want to be in good frame of mind to grab it with both hands,” he added.
Ashwin tried his hand at leg-breaks during the past domestic season in Duleep Trophy and later in IPL.
However his round about answer made it clear that he might not try wrist spin against England.
“Nothing for me is experimentation. There is logic behind whatever I do. Before I bowled a delivery of leg-spin in IPL, I have bowled about, probably, a lakh of balls in practice. The thought process alone is experimentation.
“What I might do tomorrow in a game, I really don’t know. As a Test cricketer, I pretty much know what is important in a Test match. If I wanted to bowl a bunch of leg spin and googly, I would have done it in Afghanistan (test),” Ashwin’s answer made it clear as to where he stood.
Talking about the upcoming limited overs series against an upbeat England side, Ashwin termed Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah’s death overs as key.
“England is a strong team in the shorter formats. They tweaked their strategy and team combination after the 2015 World Cup. The key for India in ODIs will be Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah’s death overs. Hopefully, it will be a high scoring series,” he added.
While praising the fast bowling unit, Ashwin is hopeful that spinners will play a major role during the Test matches that will happen at the second half of English summer.
“We have a good battery of fast bowlers who have done exceedingly well in the South Africa tour. We fancy our chances. Going in the second half of the English summer, the spinners will definitely come into play. I’m not going to set any personal records to achieve,” he added.
About the yo-yo test, which has been in the news recently and saw a few players including Ambati Rayudu fail recently, he gave a tongue-in-cheek.
“I passed my engineering exams, YoYo wasn’t that tough. If you ask if YoYo is needed in cricket. I have no opinion on that,” he added.
About a possible county stint again, he said if he got an opportunity he would play for Worcestershire again.
“If I am playing county again, I would turn up for Worcestershire. The deal couldn’t really go through because of the Afghanistan Test and the domestic T20 in England. I am not sure whether I would be playing there at the end of the season,” Ashwin added.
“I know what to expect in England, in terms of weather and pitches. New Road (Worcestershire home ground) was a very difficult track to bowl on. I enjoyed my cricket there. I have zero expectations going there,” he said.