R Ashwin’s county stint may result in his omission from the ODI home series against Australia which will start in September as he indicated his availability for all four games for Worcestershire during the same period. The Indian spinner took eight wickets in his debut against Gloucestershire.
India off-spinner R Ashwin, who had been left out of the limited-overs leg of the tour of Sri Lanka, decided to play county cricket this season and made himself available for Worcestershire's match against Gloucestershire. With India touring England for a five-match Test series next year, the decision might pay rich rewards after his disastrous stint last time when he was picked for only two of the five Tests, losing out to Jadeja in the first three.
The offie made an instant impact in Worcestershire's 189-run win over Gloucestershire with a five-wicket haul in the second innings at New Road. The hosts declared on 295 for 8, setting Gloucestershire a target of 400. The visitors managed just 211 with Ashwin picking up 5 for 68 and Joe Leech bagging 3 for 50. However, with the limited-overs series, against Australia, starting on 17th September, Ashwin is still doubtful about his selection in the national team.
"I could be called to play in the Australia series," Ashwin told ESPNCricinfo.
"But I have indicated to Bumpy (Steve Rhodes, the Worcestershire direct of cricket) that I will be available for all four games. As of now, there are no communication channels (with BCCI) open but they will be shortly, so I will probably get a clearer idea after the Sri Lanka series."
"It’s not just about next year. It’s always been a dream to play county cricket. I grew up watching it on TV in India and it has always meant a lot. Spinners have come before and told me it is a must-do experience. I was being rested from the (limited overs) series (against Sri Lanka), so I thought I might as well come here to get experience," he said.
Pujara who has had three stints in County cricket jas become one of the most important players in the Indian Test side in recent years. Ashwin is also hopeful that his experience in County Cricket will help him in improving his overseas record which is a stark contrast to his performance at home.
"But yes, next year is in the back of my mind and in the back of the mind of the team management back home. With the pace with which the international cricket calendar is set-up, you don’t have a long time to prepare.
"That might even cost you a Test match. So these experiences can be banked upon and, if you can learn faster — which I pride myself upon — the results can come a bit faster," Ashwin said.
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