Washingon has the brains of an accurate off spinner, says Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin had encouraging words to say about Tamil Nadu team-mate Washington Sundar—who played 11 matches, bowled 30 overs, took eight wickets for 185 runs at 23.12 for Rising Pune Supergiant—in the recently concluded IPL10. Sundar had replaced Ashwin in the Pune team.

“I think Washington did really well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this year. I heard from a couple of people that he is doing pretty well,” said R. Ashwin, about Washington Sundar.   -  THE HINDU

 

Ravichandran Ashwin had encouraging words to say about Tamil Nadu team-mate Washington Sundar—who played 11 matches, bowled 30 overs, took eight wickets for 185 runs at 23.12 for Rising Pune Supergiant—in the recently concluded IPL10. Sundar had replaced Ashwin in the Pune team.

“I think Washington did really well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this year. I heard from a couple of people that he is doing pretty well. I have seen very little of him in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), and stuff like that. I think he does have a very good idea of how to bowl in Twenty20s. To bowl with a new ball is always a massive challenge, and I know it better than anybody else. Generally that’s how the game goes; the first scar that you inflict always has a value,” Ashwin said.

“He initially bowled really well, not giving too much away. The pace and length he hits is very critical, he hurries the batsman on the back foot, doesn’t allow you to come forward. All these are brains that a very accurate off spinner has, and I thought he brought everything to the fore. I hope from here on he keeps improving and gets better every day,’’ said Ashwin before receiving the CEAT International Cricketer of the Year award.

Ashwin looks to test the waters

Ashwin was also all praise for the IPL. “From my point of view, IPL has done only good for Indian cricket. There could be different opinions and we can argue over it till the cows come home. As far as I am concerned, a lot of players from other countries have echoed the same feeling about the amount of talent India has thrown in through the IPL,” he said.

“It’s going to continue to happen, but the key points from the IPL are to identify the talented players, nurture them and give them enough opportunities. I sound a little bit like an old man here, but that’s how I came through the system...ranks. We have to provide them with adequate facilities and the time span to force themselves into the international scene,” he added.

He, however, agreed that there is an unfortunate time gap between one IPL and another. “What these players go through is an emotional roller-coaster over a period of time. All of a sudden they start through the IPL; there is a lot of glamour and hype around it. And at the end of the day, what we need to realise is that the IPL is an Indian domestic tournament launched in a global scale where people get identified,” he said.

“But they go through a season full of Ranji Trophy and the domestic grind when you don’t find the necessary amount of travelling facilities, hotel stays, practice facilities. And we know how challenging the wickets can be in first class cricket and a couple of knocks here and there. They tend to go through a psychological hit there. I would like to reiterate that we have to identify the talents, nurture them and make sure that they are good at what they do. Come another IPL they would be still good enough to strike the ball. You cannot put the psychological scars and not nurture them...they have to be managed through small, small camps and provide opportunities to go abroad, try and train them in conditions that would be very challenging. So this sort of hand-holding needs to happen, not necessarily spoon feeding.”

On ICC’s clamp down on size of size of bats to bring balance between bat and ball, Ashwin said: “Rule changes are welcome; it was going out of proportion. But the bat making technology has gone so far ahead that I don’t think that the size change will actually have an impromptu effect as soon as we think it will. Where I think there can be a real contribution is having grounds which are of proper size that they can facilitate to still remain the same size. There are sponsorship boards and then the perimeter board and it goes on...it becomes kind of ridiculous to be honest. Even this IPL I saw a lot of shots lob over the fielder and go for six of clear mishits. These incidents actually make a bowler lose courage over a period of time, you don’t want to bowl that particular ball that will fetch you a wicket, especially a spinner. But the bat size, if they think is the right step towards correcting things, it looks well.”

On the use of football style cards as a disciplinary measure, he said: “I think it will give us more reasons to scrutinise the game. It’s going to bring in more complications into the game. Generally when we talk about cricket, we say it is a gentleman’s game, especially in modern day cricket where it really rewarding for the players to come out and play the game. I think the player needs to take a little bit of onus on himself and show character. I think the players have to take responsibility and exhibit good class, quality and character and try and be an ambassador for the game, rather than allowing the umpires and match officials to intervene and give an yellow or red card. I don’t think that’s quite necessary. If it comes to that I think we are not going in the right direction for the future.”

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