India’s ace spinner R Ashwin is looking forward to adapting to Virat Kohli’s style of aggressive leadership but at the same time, he believes that when it comes to communication, Mahendra Singh Dhoni still can play a crucial role in the Indian cricket team.
Ahead of the 1st ODI players assembled on Sunday, during a interaction with the media, Ashwin said, “The difference is in communication. Virat likes attacking, picking wickets at the cost of some runs in the middle. In terms of leadership and communication, Mahi still holds the key because he’s the keeper and brings invaluable experience with him so it’s important that we take valuable tips from him and take the team forward."
He further added, “It (communication) will be different because of the kind of interactions we will have before and after. When I used to play alongside Mahi, which will not happen from this game onwards, it’s almost about communicating through from top of the mark to wicket—keeper. Of course, Virat will be around in short cover. We will try to get used to those communications."
Speaking of Virat's aggression, Ashwin said, “Virat on occasions can be aggressive, that’s one thing I need to try and get adjust to. Also giving those extra runs for the wicket is not a bad thing to do.”
Talking about switching from test cricket to limited overs cricket, Ashwin said, “It’s more of a mental switch. We played a few T20s in America and I switched pretty well. I am sure it’s going to be a challenge, next three days will be important I tried to tick as many boxes as possible when I practiced in Chennai.”
When asked if coming from a fabulous season in 2016, would it be an excess baggage for him? Ashwin replied, “It was a good year but it is done and dusted. You can’t rest back on your laurels a lot. The game does not give you much time. 2017 is a new year, I am going to start afresh and try and get a good start."
He further elaborated, “I would carry forward the confidence into the series but it’s a different game with the white ball and the white ball does not do enough off the wicket or in the air. It’s lot in favor of batters, but you need to come terms with it and ensure you are one step ahead of the game."
Speaking of the consistency of England, especially in ODIs, Ashwin said, “We are playing a full strength Indian team after a long time. We also have Yuvi back in the side so that will add experience to the side. But this England side has played cracker of One—day tournaments in the last year or so. They are a side which will always look to be positive. Because of the advent of T20 cricket, there are hardly any dull overs in one-dayers. Say about only 5-6 overs will be dull in the middle.”
Ashwin concluded by talking about his chances of opening the attack. He said, “We are in winters, it does not make any sense to open the bowling with a spinner. But I can’t rule anything out. We have to see how the wicket is playing, with new ball you do not get much help so I bowled with the new ball at the nets."