IPL 2019: Ashwin reminds players about their price

Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin feels a World Cup-bound cricketer will be responsible enough to manage his workload in the IPL as a berth in the cash-rich league has a heavy premium.

Kings XI Punjab captain R. Ashwin and KKR captain Dinesh Karthik at the cricket memorabilia launch by UK base CricFig international in Mumbai on Saturday.   -  VIVEK BENDRE


Keeping the ICC Cricket World Cup in mind, the Indian team management has asked the players to be careful with their workload in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

But India international and Kings XI Punjab skipper, Ravichandran Ashwin, reminded that the franchises are investing on the players. They would expect them to perform at their best; the players will have to be responsible to strike a balance.

“I don’t think as a cricketer you can look far ahead about what needs to be done and how you can manage it. As a cricketer or as a sportsperson you just concentrate on what happens today. The franchise has invested money on you,” Ashwin said on the sidelines of the Cricfig cricket memorabilia launch — that also featured Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik — here on Saturday.

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“Obviously it (the World Cup) is a massive tournament, everybody plays for pride, everybody wants to perform and excel. It (workload) definitely stays at the back of the head because it is being spoken about a lot more right now. I am sure the players are responsible enough and more fitness aware,” Ashwin said.

The spinner also admitted that things will be clearer as the tournament progresses. “I don’t think going into the tournament people will be thinking about it (workload management) but as the tournament pans out and the way it goes for each and every franchise and for each and every player, they will take decisions wisely,” Ashwin said.

Over the last six months, the Indian national selectors have stressed on the workload management and Ashwin feels that this happened ‘because of the number of injuries and the amount of premium players that are right now available for the country and how important every spot is.’

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“It is a dream for every cricketer to represent his country at the World Cup, it is a big stage. I think that is the point of view from where they are coming. Obviously, bowlers have more chances of succumbing to injuries because of the workload they go through, it is physically more hard on the body than the batters,” he said.

He also explained how important it is for the pacers to maintain workload. “If you look at a (Jasprit) Bumrah or a Bhuvneshwar (Kumar), Bumrah has been fine but Bhuvneshwar has had a few concerns over the last year or so. I think from that point of view the bowlers need to be taken good care of,” he said.

Leg-spin experiments

Asked what can the bowlers do new in this IPL, Ashwin said: “There’s always scope to do something different or try something new in the IPL because the bowlers are always stacked up with a lot of challenges… Small grounds, wicket quality getting better day by day, bat quality is getting better by the day as well, so… there’s a lot of scope.”

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“It’s not like that you can just come and try and do anything and just monkey around with your skills but there has to be a logic and thought process behind everything that you want to do. Last year I tried bowling leg-spin and it was quite successful to a certain degree. I learned quite a bit from that and will probably try and apply more in this IPL,” Ashwin pointed.

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