Ashwin spurred on by expectations


Far from being weighed down by what the Indian fans and indeed he himself expected, Ravichandran Ashwin had a spectacular series in the West Indies, scoring two centuries and picking up 17 wickets.

Ashwin picked up the man of the series award for his efforts and has said that he expected to do well on this tour.

After the conclusion of the series, Aswin said: "Personally I would say that I expected this kind of series,

"Not necessarily one where I expected two hundreds but I knew batting contributions would be very important. I had no idea that I would be batting at number six before I got here. But I put in the hard work without any expectations back home for a month and half. And it really paid off."

"Expectations are something that help you reach greater heights. Going forward I think being Indian cricketers, expectations are something that you always expect and I hope I can live up to the expectations and keep winning games for the country."

The Indian public expects an enormous amount from it's cricket team, and dealing with that pressure can make or break a player.

Ashwin is proving he has the temperament to succeed in Test cricket and has now collected his sixth man of the series award, equaling the record for India held by Virender Sehwag.

The allrounder gave the West Indies some of the credit for his great series, claiming the hosts getting the top order out quickly provided him with ample opportunities to prove himself: "I need to give West Indies a bit of credit.

"They get the top order quickly and allow me the time and opportunity. Most of the other teams give hundreds to the top order. It's a psychological thing I reckon,

"In this Test I was trying to get a good bowl in this match because personally I enjoy my five-wicket hauls more than my hundreds. I am not just saying for the sake of it. I really do mean it.

"The one hundred I would really relish and put it past a five-wicket haul is the one I got in Kolkata, and probably the one in St.Lucia. It is about the context of the game rather about getting runs or taking wickets."

The tweaker needed 8 wickets in the final Test to equal the record for the fastest man to get to 200 Test wickets, but fell short after the game was spoiled by a waterlogged outfield and only 22 overs could be bowled, with Ashwin picking up one wicket.

The spinner said: "To be honest I wasn't close to it, just on the cusp of it. So I cannot really say how I would have felt about it. But now that's gone and is under the carpet,

"Even if I didn't achieve it, I tried and went in the pursuit of excellence. So maybe not 200, let me go for the quickest 300."

Ashwin was quizzed on the change of team balance for the final game, with India selecting an extra batsman and replied: "There was clear communication that they wanted to play seven batsmen in terms of trying to see how the combination would go.

"Unfortunately we couldn't get a game. If we had got a game we would have known how we would have worked it out. But the combination doesn't really matter. As I said the context of the game and how much impact I can make on the game is what I keep looking for."