Ashwin is ready for Australia
Canberra: Having picked up four wickets against Cricket Australia Chairman`s XI at Manuka Oval on Tuesday, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said that he has done his homework well and is all set for the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia, starting on December 26.
"You have to spin it and rub it on the batsmen. First few days of a Test, I don`t expect the ball to turn. It has to be in the air, and later exploit the rough," said Ashwin, who took 4 for 52 today to help reduce Chairman`s XI to 214 for seven at stumps on day two after Indians were all out for 269 in a three-day warm-up match.
"For the left-handers you attack the stumps and for the right-hander bowl outside the off-stump," he added.
Ashwin admitted that he has been speaking to a few umpires and also consulting with his seniors like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman who have had enormous success in these conditions.
"Later, probably if I could sit down with Shane Warne and chat with him. Meanwhile, I have been speaking to a few umpires and they say it spins on day four and five. But I have to look at the match as a whole, keep spinning and flighting the ball and hoping the batsmen would attack me," he said.
Ashwin was named the man-of-the-match in his first series against West Indies last month, where he took 22 wickets for 121 runs, and also scored a maiden Test century.
The lad from Chennai said he was surprised that Chairman XI`s batsmen did not attack him enough on the second day of the three-day match.
"I was very surprised that they were not attacking me. I bowled a few bad balls, I wasn`t hit for a six. I am always prepared to be hit for a few sixes anyway."
Ashwin said that dismissing Alex Doolan (0), who was caught at forward short leg, pleased him a great deal.
"It didn't have much of spin but it just bounced a bit more. The catch belonged to Ajinkya Rahane...I haven't seen such a good catch for a long time."
Ashwin also heaped praises on the two centurions of the match -- Chairman XI's Ed Cowan and Indians' Virat Kohli.
"Cowan batted very well. I didn't bowl much to him but I think he used his feet very well.
"Kohli has been to Australia and he has enjoyed being here. He has done very well for himself in one-day format and even got a couple of fifties in a Test against the West Indies," said Ashwin.
The tall bowler was quick to dismiss suggestions that Zaheer Khan is still undercooked for the Test series and that Ishant Sharma might not be fit in time for first Test.
"It's all about upping the ante towards the start of the series. We talk so much about cricketers travelling so much and playing so much and when the team has a day off everybody writes that the team is not working; having a day off.
"If Ishant is going to bowl 140 overs in four Tests, nobody is going to ask him this question (why he's overbowled himself)," he said.
Ashwin said he wasn't surprised that Australia are conducting a batting camp to handle swing bowlers for theforthcoming series.
"I don't know anybody or any team which wouldn't be worried because nobody has mastered it. It's something very alien to everyone because you don't know which way it would go," explained Ashwin.