Ashwin gears up for Windies challenge

In 2016, Ashwin had a good tour of the West Indies with 17 wickets in the four-Test series.

India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin said he was delighted with the introduction of the Test championship and added that he was looking forward to joining his mates in the Indian team.

India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin said he was delighted with the introduction of the Test championship and added that he was looking forward to joining his mates in the Indian team.   -  M. Vedhan

Ravichandran Ashwin, who has been named in India's Test squad for the West Indies tour, wants to enjoy his cricket in the West Indies.

In a conversation with Sportstar on Monday, the all-rounder said, “I do not want to set goals or targets, put pressure on myself. I am bowling to a good rhythm, the ball is coming out nicely from the hand and I just want to continue in this vein.”

Ashwin said, “I had a rewarding time with Nottinghamshire in the English county, was among wickets and runs. So the confidence is there.”

Asked, in the context of a tight fight for spots in the Indian team, whether he was concerned about making it to the XI in the first Test, Ashwin replied, “Not at all. I want to take it as it comes. Importantly from my side, I am fit and I am bowling well. And I can always bat.”

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In 2016, Ashwin had a good tour of the West Indies with 17 wickets in the four-Test series. Queried about the pitches in the Caribbean, he said, “The surfaces there can be a bit up and down. The bounce can be inconsistent. Some of the pitches can be on the quicker side too. So you got to adapt.”

Ashwin felt the West Indies will be tough to beat at home. “They defeated England at home in a Test series last year. They have a really good pace attack and some young, exciting batsmen like Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer. We cannot take them lightly.” 

Ashwin was delighted with the introduction of the Test championship. “It’s a step in the right direction. It gives a context and meaning to every Test series. After all, Test cricket is the most complete and testing form of the game.”

He was looking forward to joining his mates in the Indian team. “It will be great to be with the bunch again. There is nothing quite like playing for India. We dream of it when we are young. India has been playing some very good cricket. We have exciting times ahead.”

The trick, Ashwin says, is to keep his mind light. Then the wickets would come and the runs would flow.

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