Ravichandran Ashwin created history, as he became the fastest bowler to take 250 wickets, reaching the mark in 45 tests © AFP
Ravichandran Ashwin created history, as he became the fastest bowler to take 250 wickets, reaching the mark in 45 tests © AFP

Ravichandran Ashwin, India‘s No. 1 spinner, recently termed as “Bradman of bowling” by the legendary Steve Waugh, is busy preparing to face Australia with a strong intent. Under the guidance of his personal coach P. Srinisvasan, Ashwin is working hard on his bowling, fielding and batting in the nets. He wants to leave no stone unturned before facing the Australians. Ashwin, who won the ” ICC World Cricketer of the Year” along with Virat Kohli, denies any sort of competition between the two. He believes in team spirit and wants to perform as a team rather than competing with his own team players. But he definitely agrees with the fact that a good performance gives him a good sleep in the night. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia 1st Test at Pune

Ashwin is over the moon, after the Australian cricket legend Steve Waugh, who once called Muttiah Muralitharan the “Bradman of bowling”, has given the same title to him. He thinks this a proud moment, as his parents, especially as his dad, reads such statements in newspapers praising him. But he tries to remain down to earth saying that he does not live over it, eats his lunch or breakfast over it. Additionally, he feels that it would be a massive achievement to go anywhere near Murali’s tally of 800 wickets. If he would be able to achieve the target, it will be like surpassing human limits.

Ashwin says that Australia pose a different threat than England. Australia play an aggressive brand of cricket with lot more shots. He feels, this time as always, the first match of the series is going to be really important. Though, he considers Steven Smith and David Warner as great batsmen and confesses on having some interesting duels with Warner in the past.

Speaking about Smith and Warner, Ashwin said “More often than not, it’s about wearing the opposition down and if you can start doing that from the beginning, it gets easier towards the end. I know that Smith and Warner will play in their free-spirited fashion and if we can curb their natural instinct and play to our strengths and make them play to the pace that we want them to, we will do a fine job.”

He says that he definitely does not have a game plan against the Australians as Test cricket is not like T20 or ODIs to have a single game plan.

Ashwin does not look out for spin-friendly pitches. He said India last got a turning pitch during the South Africa series and he is not a person who complains about wickets. He is ready to play on any pitch and expand his potential.

Ashwin’s major strength has been is to think like a batsman. The fact that he was a batsman in his junior days has helped him understand the batsman’s psyche. This often makes the batsmen wary of him and take less chances against him.

Ashwin says that Australia will come well prepared for the Indian conditions. Though, India has slow pitch conditions, Australia will have to come to terms with it.

Speaking about his insatiable strive for excellence, he says “I have played a significant part in every single Indian victory ever since I started playing for the country. I am not saying it in a tone of arrogance or cockiness. That’s what I have strived hard to achieve. I want to be the decisive factor wherever I go. Once I become the best beggar in the city, I would want to be the best in the country and so forth. I am happy the way I am.”