Sunday, May 26, 2024

ICC: Ashwin says India only focussing on what they can control

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Photo Credit: ICC

India’s semi-final hopes at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 may not be entirely in their own hands but Ravichandran Ashwin insists the team are purely focussing on their own job. 

Defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand in the first two games of the Super 12s left India with a mammoth task to reach the knockout stages and although an impressive 66-run victory over Afghanistan last time out gave them a chance, they still need help from elsewhere. 

In addition to winning Friday’s game against Scotland and Monday’s against Namibia, India will likely also need Afghanistan to beat New Zealand and then overhaul both teams’ net run-rates to snatch second place. 

And while Ashwin is hopeful Afghanistan can help them out, his main goal is simply India’s performance. 

“I think there are hardly any discussions with regards to qualification because the discussion we need to have is how we’re going to go about the couple of games we have left,” he said.  

“Everyone’s planning and wanting to go on a real high for the last two games. That is stuff that’s not in our control. It’s fingers crossed. 

“It’s a funny game, and Afghanistan have played good cricket. A lot of our hopes rest with them as well.  

“All the very best to them. I really wish if we could provide any physical support to them to play well on the park, and that is all we can hope for. They’ve played good cricket. Pakistan have played wonderful cricket. We just have fallen short of what we want in the first two games. 

“That’s where we find ourselves in the table. That’s T20 cricket. It’s very quick to come back in a tournament like this when you’ve games like that. We want to finish really well.” 

Before this ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Ashwin hadn’t played a T20I for India since July 2017 but finally got his chance in the victory over Afghanistan. 

He impressed with bowling figures of two for 14 and playing for the first time in more than four years was a special feeling for the spinner. 

“The news that I got selected in the World Cup was very heartening news,” he added. “I had fun after hearing the news in terms of enjoying myself and gratification of what I wanted to achieve in life. So that was one side of it. 

“I had some special dreams getting into the World Cup, wanting to do special things for the team. After a point in time, more than trying to prove anybody else right or wrong, it’s more about trying to prove it to yourself and also have something to achieve for the team. 

“Unfortunately, after the first two losses, I did feel a bit low about it and it wasn’t a special feeling. It’s never a special feeling when you lose games. Maybe the chance of qualification took a bit of a dent.  

“But after yesterday’s win, we still do have our fingers crossed and hope things go right. Barring that, it was quite a special night. Everything I wanted to execute fell in place, so it was a special night for me.” 

Scotland’s chances of reaching the semi-finals are already over but captain Kyle Coetzer is still relishing the opportunity to square off against India – one of cricket’s powerhouses – in Dubai on Friday. 

“Of course the excitement’s there,” said Coetzer. “It’s been there for every game in this tournament. I think coming up against a side like India can maybe just throw things into a new level perhaps. 

“The boys are really looking forward to it. The fixture is one that’s sort of been highlighted a while ago, but we also knew that every one of these games was going to be important. We’re looking forward to tomorrow. 

“We said it right from the start. Everyone in these Super 12 games is going to be a challenge.  

“It doesn’t matter which team you come up against, and the opportunity to try to test yourself against some of the best players in the world is a really important time for us, a phase in the Cricket Scotland journey, I guess, in terms of how we show and what we do and show what we’re capable of. 

“We realise we have to play really, really well to give ourselves the best chance. We have to be better and keep raising our bar to be capable and be willing to take those opportunities when they come around.” 


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