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Ravichandran Ashwin pleased with World Cup display

The off-spinner talks about his performances at the World Cup so far.

Ravichandran Ashwin recorded his best ODI figures on Saturday

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has said that the work that he put into his game during the recently concluded Test and ODI series in Australia has started to pay dividends at the ongoing 2015 Cricket World Cup. The 28-year-old hasn't experienced the same kind of success in overseas conditions as he has on home soil especially in the longer format of the game, having taken just 24 scalps in 9 Tests as compared to the 95 that he has taken in his 15 home Tests.

Ashwin didn't find a spot in the playing eleven for the opening Test at Adelaide late last year and played just one match in the Carlton Mid triangular series that followed.

But right from the first game of the World Cup, he has looked a different bowler altogether and taken 8 wickets from the 3 matches so far at an  excellent average of 13.37.

“I have realised that a lot of things is in the air and how much of pace you can vary especially in the shorter format of the game. If you can vary the pace and really put the batsmen on the guessing hook then you are always one-up on the batsman. It is very important how well you start your spell. The work I am putting in is a combination of a lot of people. The team management has fed in a lot of positivity into the work ethics and the game. There are some improvements I have made over the course of this tour,” Ashwin said in an interview to bcci.tv.

“I had a good break after the Test series and I was practicing and taking a bit of time off. For me, my mental state is very important and when I am in the right mental state I believe things will start flowing. It all started against Australia in the practice game in Adelaide where I thought I bowled exceptionally well. We have certain plans on how to go about in this tournament and I thought it succeeded against Australia. Not exactly in terms of numbers but it started taking off from there,” he added.

I’m a more confident bowler now: Ashwin

He recorded his best One-Day International (ODI) bowling figures of 4 for 25 in 10 overs against United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday, helping the Men in Blue bowl UAE out for just 102. The batsmen then chased down the total in 18.5 overs with 9 wickets in hand and the Chennai Super Kings spinner was adjudged the Man of the match for his spell. 

When asked about the performance, he didn't wish to dwell a lot on the numbers and instead expressed satisfaction at the way he was releasing the ball from his hand.

“I am very happy it came at Perth because my last man of the match performance in Australia was also at Perth. But honestly speaking it is not about numbers for me. It is about the way the ball is coming out of my hand and how well I am bowling which is what matters to me at this point of time. Even my preparation towards my game has changed a lot. There is much more confidence in my skill to go out and say, ‘Okay, this is what I have got and it is up to the batsmen to put the bat on the ball.’ That is how confident I am at this point of time,” he said.

Ravi Shastri’s positivity has been very helpful: Ashwin 

Ashwin also revealed that team director Ravi Shastri helped play down the notion that only fast bowlers get assistance on the bouncy WACA wicket and added that the 52-year-old’s inherent positivity has benefitted the team immensely.

“Ravi Shastri was saying that it is sometimes an overgeneralization when people come into Perth and say we will have to play four fast bowlers. He told us that Perth is not that kind of a place and anybody who bowls well and if it is coming out of your hand well, can end up picking up wickets. He is a very positive person and that helps in the dressing room,” he said.

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