Cricket World Cup 2015

Ashwin ready for big-hitters

2015-03-05 10:28
Ravichandran Ashwin (AFP)

Perth - India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is all set for the challenge of facing some of the biggest hitters in the game when his side play the West Indies in a Cricket World Cup clash in Perth on Friday.

Defending champions India are top of Pool B, with three wins from as many games, but the third-placed West Indies are also in the hunt for a quarter-final place with two wins from four matches.

The West Indies piled up 372 for two in their win over Zimbabwe, with dynamic left-handed opener Chris Gayle making 215, the highest individual World Cup score, and Marlon Samuels an unbeaten 133.

Gayle has long been regarded as one of the most powerful shot-makers in the game, but Ashwin said Thursday that aggressive batting was now commonplace in all one-day international cricket.

"It's not just Chris Gayle, it's any other batsman in world cricket. Anybody who attacks wants to put you off," said Ashwin at Perth's WACA ground.

"I go strongly for getting the wicket of any batsman that I think is dangerous because I like it. I like to throw myself in the middle and try to see how much I can make an impact in that particular game.

"Be it Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers anybody, I look to get them out in the middle."

And Ashwin said he would not be changing his approach should he find himself bowling to Gayle.

"There are no particular plans. I mean, it's pretty simple...It's pretty much about boundaries and wickets, and you can restrict the hitting to one side and see if you can get a wicket or two."

Amidst all the blazing hitting of this World Cup, Ashwin has so far taken eight wickets at an impressively low average of 13.37 apiece.

"I'm pleased. It is quite heartening to get wickets," said the 28-year-old.

"It gives you a lot of confidence. But in terms of preparation for the game, it's going to be the same. Because we prepare for every other team like we prepare for the big teams. It's not going to be very different. We're pretty confident about executing tomorrow."

Former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble recently said he saw something of his own determination in Ashwin's bowling, much to his slow-bowling successor's delight.

"I've always maintained that Kumble is one of my big heroes because every time he's been put in the corner he's come out really successfully," Ashwin said.

"That is one aspect I really admire about him. There have been times people have asked me who is your role model and I actually told them Kumble is one of my role models.

"To actually hear that from him is a big honour. At the same time, they are big boots to fill. It's not as easy as he made it sound, but I'm really pleased."

India have been in fine form so far this World Cup, with wins over Pakistan, South Africa and the UAE.

But Ashwin warned they still had work to do if they were to qualify for the quarter-finals.

"I don't think we're there. There are three (group) games (left) and Ireland's also played good cricket," he said. We're pretty aware of what's happening around us in the group.

"It's very important that we take it one game at a time. We like to treat every game like it's a knockout game."

Read more on:    india  |  cwc 2015  |  ravichandran ashwin  |  cricket


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