While some of his colleagues are playing the ODIs against New Zealand, the bowling attack, which was at its peak, has been given a break with the England series in mind. “I think I needed this break more than anybody else. I wanted this break and I needed to be really fresh,” Ashwin said. It’s important that he is at his best during the series, because England beat India the last time they were here for Test matches.
Ashwin already has 220 wickets in his kitty and there are talks that he will reach the magic figure of 300 by the end of the season. Ashwin gets 10 more Tests to do so, but the 30-year-old offie is not putting too much pressure on himself thinking about it. “As of now, I am not looking at any numbers or chasing any targets. I am just enjoying the space I am in. When you are really doing well, you don’t think about how well you are doing as that can lead to losing out on enjoyment. So, at the moment I am not really looking too far ahead,” Ashwin said. Ashwin, though, admitted, that he is going through a good patch. “From last year or so, I have said that I have been bowling well. It is pretty clear from the way it is coming out of my hand. My rhythm and my action are falling in place,” he said.
The offie is a thinking cricketer and he spends a lot of time strategizing on how to bowl at different batsmen. Even as he takes a break from competitive cricket, Ashwin hasn’t stopped working on what he needs to do and what his areas of strength are. “Of course, I have been deeply thinking about my game. I am trying to grasp as to what has gone right and what went wrong. But what I have understood is that rhythm is very important. Sometimes, it is difficult getting into the rhythm and it takes some time. Throughout this series against New Zealand, I was settling into a nice rhythm,” he said.
Ashwin invariably had the better of the best batsmen in the line-up in the recent series in the subcontinent. While it was Kumar Sangakkara against Sri Lanka, it was AB de Villiers against Souh Africa and against New Zealand, it was Kane Williamson. The offie, though, doesn’t want to read too much into this ‘bunny’ idea. Rather, he is happy to perform and is extremely respectful of the opposition greats, whom he has dismissed so frequently.