Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has announced that he has to start bowling with a lot more aggression and a more attacking approach as he prepares for his maiden tour of England.
Ashwin noted that on previous overseas tours, his role has been to “hold an end up”. But, he does not want to do that in England as it is not his strength.
“I had a chat with a couple of people who have done well in England,” Ashwin told the Hindustan Times. “A few interesting things have come out of it. Bowling in a way that they have been doing takes practice. I need to see if it is working for me and find ways to take wickets.
“There have been times where the team wanted me to hold an end up, which is not my strength. I would like to get back to my strength and start spinning the ball really hard and get batsmen out. In terms of strategy, I have a couple in my mind which I’ll be working on.”
Ashwin has not been very successful outside of India as he has only taken nine wickets in four Tests at a dismal average of 74.77.
In fact, Ashwin was dropped after going wicketless in the first Test against South Africa. He was also left out of the side for India’s recent two-Test series against New Zealand.
“There are various factors that determine performance, some of which, like luck, aren’t in my hand,” Ashwin said. “I have been working very hard on whatever is in my hand. Apart from hard work, I think patience is also required.”
Ashwin’s recent struggles overseas has drawn a lot of criticism from his former mentor, Sunil Subramaniam. When asked about it, Ashwin stated that he had no idea how their relationship had become so frosty.
“I think a coach must communicate with the player first,” he said. “I don’t know where we fell out. He was someone who was helping me. Whenever I needed help, I hired him. But with the tight international calendar, you don’t get the time to go back to someone and the drawing board. I don’t know where it comes from and you don’t know who needs the publicity.”
India haven’t won a Test match abroad since 2011 and the last time they visited England, they were whitewashed 4-0.
“A lot of new guys have come in the team after the 2011 debacle,” Ashwin said. “So that way it is going to be a fresh start.
“Besides, the experience of players like Gautam Gambhir will be really handy. As a whole, it is a great challenge. I am very optimistic.”