Changed tactic pays dividends

Ashwins do-or-die mantra

Bowling in Power Plays and striking vital blows, the off-spinner has been MS Dhoni’s go-to man. “In England, I decided to either die by the sword or live by the sword,” noted Ahwin talking about his approach here on Thursday. “So, I tossed the ball much more than I have usually done, and I believe it hangs a bit more in the air here. I have tried to beat the batsman in the air rather than off the wicket,” he pointed out.

While the series has been reasonably good for him, as a team it’s been a disappointing performance losing some close games. “They have played gutsier cricket than us, but all it required was a couple of things to go our way to make them feel the way we do (now),” he offered. “Such is the nature of battle, but we won the World Cup three months back. Let’s not forget that. Now, we are building our way to 2015 (World Cup) so that’s a better way to put it. We do lose a few battles but the war needs to be won in the end and that is how we look at it.”

The Tamil Nadu cricketer played down India skipping the ICC Awards on Tuesday in London. “It basically depends on what the authorities want us to do. If they are going to ask us to go we definitely will go. They have not had any intimation and as a player I would rather take a day off. I don’t have anything to comment on that, and I am not trying to be on the safer side,” he explained.

England skipper Alastair Cook was happy with the way his team has coped with the challenge posed by India. “You get judged on the results and we’ve won both series. It’s an encouraging start but I think the good thing is the last two games we’ve not really played that well. But we managed to get the result which bodes well. Most games, especially in tournaments, are very close. It’s good to get yourself used to those situations. If you dominate games it becomes less stressful. But we’ve made some good progress over the last couple of series.”

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