They say, T20 cricket is a harsh format for the bowlers, especially if you are a spinner it has very little on offer. But for prime Indian offie, Ravichandran Ashwin, who emerged into the international scenario after successful Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons, it is all about adapting to the format. He feels conditions play a vital part and adjusting to different condition is success mantra for a spinner in T20 cricket.
“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 league match against Sri Lanka in this edition of Asia Cup.
Ashwin believes in this ‘hit out or get out’ format the scoreboard pressure for a batsman is the best friend of a bowler, because according to this is the main wicket taking factor here.
“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.
So, far in the edition of Asia Cup, wickets have quite a bit of pace and bounce. But as spinner, Ashwin has no complaint with it. 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,” the Tamil Nadu cricketer was quoted saying.
The cricketing world experienced an exceptional on-field battle between Virat Kohili and Mohammad Amir on last Friday, during the India-Pakistan encounter. Talking about that, 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,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ashwin also agreed that emergence of Jasprit Bumrah and Ashish Nehra’s form have helped the spinners a lot in recent times.
“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 explained.
However, India will take on their last two leagues games of the event and Ashwin is not ready take neither one 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.