Ravichandran Ashwin has progressed by leaps and bounds since his Test debut in November last year. And since his successful transition from limited overs cricket, the off-spinner has been a vital cog in India’s plans at home. The articulate bowler, who spoke to Hindustan Times, spoke about the series against England, where he carries the hopes of avenging last year’s 0-4 whitewash, his rapport with Pragyan Ojha and camaraderie with Harbhajan Singh.
On the series being a contest between India’s spinners and the England batsmen as they are likely to get rank turners.
It’s always about skills. If you can play on wickets that bounce, go through and seam around then it is also a skill to play on low and slow wickets.
Do you feel any extra pressure as the leader of the spin attack?
We don’t have any pressure. If these are the conditions we revel in, if these are the conditions we enjoy, and if we do well eventually, then everything ends here. At the end of the day, skills need to be executed, and not just talked about.
On this being a revenge series.
All these are tag lines. I don’t really believe in these tags. If I am not mistaken, this is my first series against England. They have experienced batsmen, especially in the middle order. We’ll take one match at a time. If we win the first two matches then everything will fall into place. At present that’s our goal. This is a very important series. We are playing against the No 2 Test side in the world.
On his preparations
It’s very important to know your strengths and weaknesses and also of your opposition. We know what their strength and our strength is. That is very important. As the series goes on, we will strategise further.
On Pragyan Ojha
We’ve been bowling together for the last two years. We have also bowled together in junior domestic tournaments. We did well against West Indies and New Zealand and share a good rapport. We are also familiar with each other’s strength. Most importantly, if we have a comment to share or criticism to make, we are free to make.
On Harbhajan Singh
There is no such thing like competition between us. Everyone knows what he has done for Indian cricket.