India's most skillful Test bowler, Ravichandran Ashwin is going through a very interesting phase with his career. Having seen the rise of wrist spin and Indian Cricket's preference for it these days, Ashwin has lost his place in the limited overs side. The likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have further cemented their place in the white-ball formats and this has made it highly likely that the duo will be part of India's World Cup campaign next year in England, leaving no place for India's premier off-spinner.
Ashwin last played an ODI in July 2017. There is a strong indication by the selectors that he and Ravindra Jadeja could be limited to just Test Cricket. It exhibits how India genuinely wants to prioritise the red ball game but also that the team understands the demands of modern-day limited overs game.
Ever since been dropped from the ODI side, people have been asking Ashwin questions about his future. He was asked a similar question while present at the unveiling of his Tamil Nadu Premier League side Dindigul Dragons.
To which Ashwin replied, "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 within,"
"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,"
One of the questions that Ashwin's been regularly put across these days is his leg-spin. He was naturally asked another time about it and replied, "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 may not be part of the ODI side but he is still part of that Indian team that is due to take on England in a few days time, emotionally. He talked about the upcoming limited overs series and said, "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,"
But, at the front of his mind is the desperation to do well in that all-important Test series starting August 1.
"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,"
Ashwin made an amusing comment about the yo-yo Test that is in the news for wrong reasons these days, by saying, "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 concluded by talking about the possible county stint with Worcestershire again. He said, "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,"
"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,"
(Inputs from CricketNext)