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Ravichandran Ashwin: England series will be the real test

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SportsCafe Desk

Last Tuesday at 10:28 AM

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has described England’s visit next month as the real test for the home side after India made a winning start to their 13-Test home season with a 3-0 rout of New Zealand to reclaim their top position in the ICC Test rankings.

The Tamil Nadu bowler took 27 wickets for his seventh Man of the Series award, and has been rested along with spin partner Ravindra Jadeja from the ongoing ODI series against the Kiwis to stay fresh for the five-Test series against England.

"England is a very good side. It is not going to be easy to put it past them. I will do my homework and try ensuring that I stick to good lines and lengths and get my rhythm going. That is going to be the most important thing," Ashwin said at a promotional event in Chennai.

"I think I needed this break more than anybody else. I wanted this break and I needed to be really fresh," said Ashwin who returned career-best match figures of 13/140 in the final Test against New Zealand.

The 30-year-old is the quickest to reach 220 wickets – in just 39 Tests and there is talk of him reaching 300 wickets before the season ends, giving him 10 matches to get 80 wickets. Ashwin, however, believes in living in the moment and enjoying the purple patch that he has carved for himself.

"As of now, I am not looking at any numbers or chasing any targets. I am just enjoying the space I am in. When you are really doing well, you don't think about how well you are doing as that can lead to losing out on enjoyment. So, at the moment I am not really looking too far ahead," Ashwin explained.

"From last year or so, I have said that I have been bowling well. It is pretty clear from the way it is coming out of my hand. My rhythm and my action are falling in place."

The Arjuna awardee is a keen student of the game, and although on a break, the offie has already started studying his next opponents so that he can be at the top of his game when the much-awaited series begins.

"Of course, I have been deeply thinking about my game. I am trying to grasp as to what has gone right and what went wrong. But what I have understood is that rhythm is very important. Sometimes, it is difficult getting into the rhythm and it takes some time. Throughout this series against New Zealand, I was settling into a nice rhythm," Ashwin said.

"I am really lucky to to have got the better of them in games that I have played so far. I am going to come up against a lot of good players in the coming few months. It could be very interesting and I hope that I start off on a good note," Ashwin said, when asked about getting the better of some of the world's best batsmen like Kumar Sangakkara, AB de Villiers and, more recently, Kane Williamson.