Ashwin calls on India to be wary of Lanka before Asia Cup encounter

Mirpur, Feb.29 (ANI): As India and Sri Lanka prepare for the seventh Asia Cup T20 clash, ace Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Monday warned his side to be wary of the opposition, saying the Angelo Mathews-led side will definitely bounce back as a pack after their defeat against Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka yesterday suffered a 23-run defeat against the host in the fifth clash of the ongoing tournament. But, Ashwin believes that the Lankan tigers will definitely raise their standards for their next clash.

“There is a familiarity since only 10 teams play international cricket and once you have played couple of years, you are familiar with each opposition. Sri Lanka is a team we have played a lot. But one thing that we have always wary about Sri Lanka is the fact that they can always punch above their weight. In a big game, they will definitely raise their standards and play as a pack,” the 29-year-old told the media here.

Ashwin also called on his side to try to iron out their flaws as much as possible and head into next month’s World T20 at home with full of confidence.

“We have played some great T20 cricket over a last couple of months. It’s about trying and getting better. We are trying and ironing out whatever possible, weaknesses or jinx we have and or how better we can get and try to get at the stage where we are really confident as a group. Once we are done with that, it’s all about getting into the World Cup. We are treating every game like a knockout of the World Cup,” he said on the eve of the Sri Lanka clash.

“The kind of cricket we play is what’s going to put us in best shape possible. It’s not just this tournament. We are looking at a longer season of T20, crossing the IPL in probably next 3-4 months. Opponent doesn’t matter. Whoever the opponent is, it is not about not disrespecting anyone but we have to treat everyone with same respect,” Ashwin insisted.

Reflecting on the bowling friendly pitches in the Asia Cup T20, Ashwin urged his side to adapt to the conditions in Bangladesh rather than complaining about it.

“It is very important to know what conditions are thrown at you. You can’t try and beat the conditions. It is very important to go back and understand that it will not spin a lot on these surfaces. That’s why it is even more imperative that we put the bowl in good lengths and try and get away with our overs rather than looking to go for wickets,” Ashwin said.

The right-hander further insisted that he would definitely attack whenever he gets the opportunity irrespective of the wickets.

While lavishing praise on India’s improved death bowling, Ashwin said, “It’s very good if you can punch as a group. Ashish (Nehra) is very experienced candidate and had a very good IPL. He can swing the ball upfront and bowl at death. (Jasprit) Bumrah has a unique action. He has done very well in IPL in last couple of years. He can bowl lethal yorkers that definitely have given us an extra sting at the end. Our death bowling can definitely be much better than what it was in the past. So that’s a huge confidence and we can go in the middle-overs with a lot of attacking instinct.”

Ashwin also praised Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Amir, who has recently returned after serving a five-year ban for his involvement in 2010 spot-fixing scandal, saying that he bowled a brilliant spell during India’s five-wicket win over Shahid Afridi’s side during their Asia Cup match. (ANI)

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