Ashwin calls for better pre-season preparation

Tamil Nadu skipper R. Ashwin feels his state team needs to go out of Chennai to prepare better for the next domestic season.

TN skipper R. Ashwin also pointed out the positives, M. Vijay’s form being one of them.   -  FILE PHOTO/ VIJAY SONEJI


R. Ashwin believes Tamil Nadu needs to play more tournaments ahead of the next domestic season. “We have to play in tournaments like the KSCA and the Moin-ud-Dowla competitions before the season begins. We need to play more games away from Chennai,” the India all-rounder told Sportstar on Saturday.

This has been a season where TN has failed to qualify from the group stage in all three formats — the Ranji Trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.

Skipper Ashwin was candid in his views. “The other teams are improving fast. We have to play catch-up. This is why we need to play in more tournaments in other centres before the season and bond as a team. We need to spend more time together as a team.”

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“I spoke to Parthiv Patel and he told me that Gujarat improved after playing in the KSCA tournament. Vidarbha, the Ranji champions for the past two years, have a 60-day camp split into four phases ahead of the season. We have to prepare better,” he added.

Ashwin said, “It’s time for us to sit together and take some decisions. We have to play up north ahead of the season. In fact, any corporate from Chennai can organise a tournament for us up north. The conditions are very different there and we need to get familiar with them before the season commences.”

The India off-spinner conceded, “We have to get better in a lot of departments. We have to improve our fielding, big time. The youngsters need more exposure.”

The seniors had a huge role to play taking TN forward. “We as seniors have to build the team with the youngsters, be committed to the state side. We have to guide the emerging players,’ said Ashwin.

This has been a tournament where both Ashwin and Murali Vijay have spent quality time with the youngsters. After a lengthy conversation with Vijay, Washington Sundar said, “I learnt so much about preparing for an innings from Vijay sir.”

Despite TN not progressing to the next stage in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, Ashwin said there were some positives for the team. “The Vijay has batted in this tournament should be an inspiration to all the youngsters. J. Kousik won the match for us the other day. We have had our moments. The youngsters have done well.”

Ashwin said, “We won all our matches at the Lalbhai ground where the pitch was better. At the C.B. Patel ground, the surface was not conducive to strokeplay.”

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