Chennai: Ravichandran Ashwin turned up for his club team days after a gruelling IPL season. The star India spinner said Friday that he did so to get into the red ball cricket mode. Ravichandran Ashwin said that players will have to get into red ball mode for the rescheduled fifth Test in England beginning July 1. The Indian Test team are likely to depart June 15 for England. They will play a warm up game Leicestershire before the Test at Edgbaston.
Ashwin chose to turn out for his club side MRC ‘A’ in the TNCA first division semifinal and final just days after being part of the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL final.
“The purpose of playing these games (First Division) is to shift from 20 overs to this (red-ball) format… All these things are workload management. As you grow older, you play more and play smarter,” Ashwin said.
“I am trying to do that. I am enjoying my game. I just want to go there (England) and take it as it comes. I feel I can contribute with the bat and bowl well. I want to keep ticking on my fitness and keep working,” the 35-year old spinner told reporters after leading MRC ‘A’ to their maiden first division title.
Ashwin (442 wickets) has recently gone past Kapil Dev (434 wickets) to emerge as India’s second highest wicket-taker after Anil Kumble (619). He was asked whether he has set any targets for himself. “I have worked incredibly hard on my game. I think a lot. I have done all these things over the years that I feel I am in a position where I can take it as it comes. I am happy playing the kind of cricket I am playing. I do not want to think too far ahead,” Ashwin said.
Ashwin has been keen to ensure Tamil Nadu get back to their dominant ways in the Ranji Trophy. He said steps need to be taken to revive the red ball culture in the state and wished to see the TNCA revert to the three-day or four-day format for the first division league next year. It is now played on a two-day format.
“I would like to see the first division go back to the days when I started playing. There was seriously good quality. I wish the TNCA pushes the game to three or four days next year,” Ashwin stated.
“Only if these quality players play back to back against each other, there will be more competition for places. Tamil Nadu cricket, yes, we have done superbly well in the white-ball game. If we have to revive the red ball culture, the first division is the place where we start,” added the spinner.