Ashwin has not played white ball cricket from the last two years, there is no such speculation around that he is coming back, as long as Kuldeep and Chahal are fit. The No.2 ODI side in the world cricket is focusing on the wrist-spin. The perception of believing that leg spin is a more destructive weapon for the limited-overs formats is the main belief of Ashwin that is causing his exclusion from India’s ODI and T20I sides.
At a Mumbai event, Ashwin said “I am not looking at it like that because I am no slouch. In the white-ball format, my records are not as bad as what it is perceived to be. It is out of the perception that wrist-spinners are required in the modern day one-day cricket format, that [is why] I am sitting out. The last one-day match that I played, I got 3 for 28”.
“I would always look back at my career and say it is not due to my effort that I am sitting out of the team, it is due to the supply and demand that the team requires. I went and played in the Syed Mushtaq Ali and I had a decent outing and that is how I look at it. I am playing cricket and it is not like I need to specialise in one particular format. It is the challenges of the modern-day game, I will be looking forward to doing whatever I can do best.”
When questioned about more variations in bowling, he said “I have always maintained that you can spin the ball into the batsman or out of the batsman, you can’t do anything more than that. I am just adding more ammunition to my own skill and try and add more strength to my game and that’s all it has always been”.
“I have never played for the galleries, never really played for the records, never really played for places. I just enjoy the sport, the sport has given me everything. When I picked up the bat and ball as an eight-year-old it gave me everything, I love it. Even today when I play a club game, when I play on the streets I enjoy it. For me it is all about playing the game that I love and excelling in the best possible way I can,” he added.
Ashwin said the players are responsible enough when it comes to their fitness and know how to manage it. “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 on the day. The franchise has invested money on you. Obviously, it is a massive tournament, everybody plays for pride, everybody wants to perform and excel. It 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 and be able to handle it than they ever were. I don’t think going into the tournament people will be thinking about it 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. Probably because of the number of injuries and the number of premium players that are right now available for the country, and how important every spot is”.
“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. Probably from that point of view, if you look at Bumrah or Bhuvneshwar, 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,” Ashwin said.