R Ashwin showed up for his club side days after a grueling IPL season and India’s star spinner says he did so to go into red-ball cricket mode ahead of the rescheduled fifth Test in England at from July 1.
The Indian test squad are set to leave for England on June 15. She will play a warm-up match in Leicestershire before the test at Edgbaston.
Ashwin opted to appear for his club team MRC ‘A’ in the TNCA Premier League Semi-Final and Final just days after being part of the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL Final.
“The goal of playing these games (first division) is to go from 20 overs to this format (red ball)… All of these things are workload management. As you get older, you play more and play smarter. “I’m trying to do that. I enjoy my game. I just want to go there (to England) and take it as it comes. I feel like I can contribute well with bat and bowl. I want to keep monitoring my fitness and keep working,’ the 35-year-old spinner told reporters after leading MRC ‘A’ to their maiden Premier League title.
When asked if he had set any goals, Ashwin, who recently overtook legendary Kapil Dev (434) to become the second highest wicket taker for India (with 442 scalps) behind l ace spinner Anil Kumble (619), he said. : ”I worked incredibly hard on my game. I think a lot. ”I’ve done all of these things over the years and I feel like I’m in a position where I can take things as they come. I am happy to play the cricket I play. I don’t want to think too far ahead. ”Ashwin, who was keen to ensure Tamil Nadu return to their dominant ways in the Ranji Trophy, said steps needed to be taken to revive the red ball culture in the state and wanted to see the TNCA return to the three- or four-day format for the Premier League next year. It is now played on a two-day format.
”I would like to see the First Division go back to when I started playing. There was really good quality. I wish the TNCA would push the game to three or four days next year. ”Only if these quality players play back to back will there be more competition for places. Tamil Nadu cricket, yes, we have done superbly well in the white ball game. ”If we are to revive the red ball culture, the Premier League is where we start. I believe I give my 1% by coming back and playing here. With our team, there has been a lot of hard work. There have been a lot of disappointments,” he added.
Tamil Nadu, though successful in the clean ball formats (T20 and 50-overs), were unable to move past the league stage in Ranji’s last two seasons.
”If you’re serious about playing good red ball cricket, our fast bowling and beat against fast bowling must definitely increase. There’s no two ways about it. ”At the moment, there is an intention. Our fast bowlers struggle to find the right length and balance. We have a dozen rotations; we can handle and all that. Also in the Ranji Trophy, when the spin comes into play, we get by. We know how. Fast bowling is something we definitely need to work on,” he added.
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