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Ravichandran Ashwin looks forward to practice games ahead of ICC Champions Trophy

Ravichandran Ashwin says practice matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy will help assess his form after a lengthy break.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: May 24, 2017 22:42 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Champions Trophy 2017,ICC Champions Trophy,Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin is returning from an injury break and will be crucial to the Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team in the ICc Champions Trophy.(PTI)

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will return to action after a two-month hiatus for the ICC Champions Trophy, starting in the United Kingdom on June 1. Ashwin believes India’s practice matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh will be an indicator to his form as he makes his India comeback.

Ashwin missed the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to sports hernia, but is all set to pull his weight for India in their title defence of the Champions trophy. India kick off their campaign with the high-profile clash against arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston on June 4.

“I might be able to throw something new in this tournament. I am equipped enough to do so. The two practice games will give me an indication how well I go in the tournament,” Ashwin said at the CEAT Cricket Rating International Awards 2017.

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“It will depend on how well my variations come to fore. I am hoping to put these practice matches to good use and bring something new to the table, give something new to the team,” said the bowling all-rounder.

Ashwin believes placid wickets will need to be taken into consideration as Champions Trophy preparations continue. “I feel you have to be prepared for any challenge thrown at you and I generally expect placid wickets and that’s the way I prepare for limited overs format. As far pressure is concerned, it is about handling one game at a time, as you build up to every game, you start becoming a favourite,” said right-handed batsman.

Read | ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Full team list of the top-eight nations

“Honestly feels surreal right now as I had a month and half break, these wickets (in the past season) have come and they are result of my strives for excellence, all I am trying to do is use this experience,” he said after receiving the International Cricketer of the Year Award.

Ashwin spotlighted the IPL as a gateway for Indian players as well as young international talent.

“IPL has only done good for Indian cricket. A lot of players from other countries have echoed the same feeling about how much talent India is throwing up from IPL and it will continue to happen,” he said.

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He further praised the talent nurturing system in India as one of the most solid in the world.

“We have a solid system for nurturing talent in India. The Ranji Trophy goes on 5-6 months, the IPL for two. We haven’t done much wrong in the last 20 years, reaching two finals (2003 ICC World Cup and 2014 ICC World Twenty20); winning two World Cups (2007 ICC World Twenty20 and 2011 ICC World Cup) and the Champions Trophy (2013). We need to have faith and respect our system,” Ashwin signed-off.

First Published: May 24, 2017 19:04 IST