Ravichandran Ashwin feels he bowled a couple of his best spells in Australia

Ravichandran Ashwin was India’s leading spinner in the disastrous tour of Australia where none of the Indian players managed to perform to their potential © PTI

Chennai: Apr 3, 2013

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin opened up in an interview with Subhash Jayaraman of the cricketcouch.com, talking about various things in his career so far, including two of his best spells in Australia.

Ashwin was India’s leading spinner in the disastrous tour of Australia where none of the Indian players managed to perform to their potential. When asked about his performance in that forgettable series, he said “With respect to what happened in Australia, on a broader note for the team, I wasn’t experienced enough, I wasn’t a senior player in the team to comment on what went wrong. So, I will just talk on my performance. Personally, I thought I bowled a couple of my best spells in Australia- one in Melbourne and one in Adelaide. At Sydney, I was basically a restrictive bowler. I had to do that. It was a great learning curve for me in Australia. I enjoyed Melbourne the most , there was drift in the air and bounce on the wicket. Adelaide was also a fantastic Test match, I had a fantastic Test match as far my bowling went on. I thought I had a really good two games there. As for my batting, I enjoyed batting there as well.”

“Definitely, the Kookaburra ball has an effect on the bowlers. It is one of the toughest balls to bowl with. Just to draw a comparison, if averages and strike rates are something to go by, then I wouldn’t be playing this game. The comparison – Graeme Swann had 14 wickets in 4 Tests in the Ashes. I got 10 wickets in 2 Tests in Australia because the Sydney Test was a one-innings Test and I hadn’t taken a wicket there. That is how I will make comparisons and set benchmarks and try and achieve something and not look at averages and strike rates. That is not my forte. For a spinner to win Test matches abroad, he has to come on to his own in the 4th innings. When you really provide a spinner with a score to defend in the 4th innings,  that is when a spinner must be tested,” he added.

Ashwin also spoke about how he has not made any changes to his game since making his first class debut, “Especially in Test cricket, I haven’t had a varied difference since I started playing first class cricket. I haven’t made any marked changes or adjustments in terms of approach. It has always been the same. I have always given the respect the duration game always requires. It is not like I am required to make a big step out or a big change there.”

Asked if he has had to lift his game when he shifts from a domestic competition like Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy or Irani Trophy to international cricket as the opposition was much tougher, Ashwin said that the opposition never featured in his approach to the game.

“Basically, the opposition doesn’t feature in terms of approach one takes to the game. It always remains the same – a first class game that I play for Tamil Nadu is probably equally (as) important as Test cricket that I play for my country because as far as I am concerned, the game takes center-stage. Especially, if it is a duration game, the amount it is going to test someone’s ability or someone’s mental strength to tackle different situations is still going to remain the same. With respect to the opposition, yes, it is not like a marked change that you need to the approach. Just the strategy and planning for different players changes. It doesn’t differ if it is Mike Hussey of Mohammed Kaif who is playing at the other end. You have to strategise differently for each of them.”