Sri Lanka v India, 5th ODI, Pallekele August 3, 2012

Wins more important for team - Ashwin


Rohit Sharma has made 5, 0, 0 and 4 in the ODI series, and India have conceded 90 and 97 runs to Sri Lanka's lower-middle order from overs 41 to 50 in the first and third games. But with the side having already won the series 3-1 going into the final match on Saturday in Pallekele, R Ashwin has said that there wasn't any need to talk about matters such as individual performance and death-over bowling as long as the side was winning.

"It's a team game and as long as the team is doing well I don't think anyone should comment," Ashwin said, when asked whether Rohit would be replaced for the final ODI. "It's probably a mistake everyone tries to do in terms of picking on someone. I don't think it's the right thing to do. Everybody in the team will be backing each other and we are doing really well so there is no necessity to talk about anybody at all."

Rohit averages 14.54 this year and has lasted 28 balls in four innings this series. India persisted with him and left out legspinner Rahul Sharma in the previous game so that the long-benched batsman Manoj Tiwary could be given a chance. Ajinkya Rahane is the only player in the 15-man squad who is yet to get a game in the series. Ashwin hinted, though, that India would not be making any changes to the XI.

"I wouldn't think so [that changes would be made], but it's totally left to the team management. We are just looking to go up 4-1 in the series. I think as we go on it will help us in the [ICC] rankings as well." The top four ODI sides are sandwiched together with Australia on 119 points and South Africa, India and England on 118 points.

Ashwin said India had been working on their death-over bowling but repeated that while the side was winning, it didn't matter. "It does happen. The bowlers do tend to go for runs. We need to find different lengths at different venues. Last game we finished it with almost seven-eight overs to spare. As long as the team batting first or second has [outdone] the other side I don't think it should even come under question. It's 11 on 11 and not bowlers against batsmen and batsmen against bowlers."

India came into this series after a two-month long break and Ashwin said it that helped the players to regroup. "The break has helped everyone to get back together. The general mood in the team has been upbeat. The freshness in the camp is actually helping. We have been playing a few soccer games as well. This 3-1 will give us an indication that everything is right and whatever we have done away from the field has helped us."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ajith on August 4, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    Giving a player an extended run is not such a bad thing. What is worrying is there seems to be no plan, at least from what we see from outside. What about Rahane? Does he not merit a look in? Or we just let Sehwag have his fun there? Maybe Gambhir is doing OK and he can sit out a game? If not, why take these guys not in the first 11 to SL? As far as improvements, the concept should be try to do things better. Just because team is winning does not men you keep doing the same. Having said that, Ashwin was probably talking about winning only in Rohit's context and not in the team performance aspect.

  • mathew on August 4, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Posted by Gssmy on (August 04 2012, 01:31 AM GMT),He is performing better than anybody and thats why he is playing for India,unlike you sit and vent your frustration here.He done some hardwork to be playing for india and not to become some armchair critics like you n me..appreciate the cricketers when they win,instead of usual negativity all the time.Indian fans need to grow up first to support their cricket team.God save Indian cricket when they have fans like this.

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    shut up ashwin chek ur record excpt lanka u havnt bowled well against other teams so dont hide ur weakness while winning u have to prove urself in front of others aussies played u very well do homework against them they are coming india in oct

  • Shanmuga on August 4, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    If you send a guy with no discipline as your spokesman, you can expect such meaningless comments only! He is playing for almost couple of yrs now, but is bloating up by the day with poor fitness! His bowling is somehow holding up in most of the matches, otherwise he'll be another worthless member in the playing 11 with his terrible fielding and atrotious running between the wickets! I sincerely wish that he becomes more disciplined in his fitness regimen and becomes a more all round contributor to the team!

  • adithya on August 4, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    guys stop bashing ashwin.afterall he is the best spinner in india and he is ranked at no.6 in icc rankings.he didn't bowled well in aus so has bhajji.harbhajan's record in aus is far worse than ashwin.also ashwin did well in odi's in england.he was the second highest wicket taker in that series behind grame swann.

  • Magesh on August 4, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    Ashwin is the future of indian cricket. He is the most talented off spinner India has produced in the last 2 decades. He is handling tough questions from media with ease. I think he should be moulded to take the captaincy of Indian cricket in near future. I know all north indians dont like this, but sorry guys it is what it is. Ashwin is here to stay for a long time. Days of harbhajan singh is over. Dont dream about bhaji and write ill about this young Ashwin. His performance is 1000 times better than harbhajan. Ashwin can become a great allrounder, I see Kapil Dev in him.

  • nachami on August 4, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    Ashwin talks the truth. It is appreciable. If we keep picking up on a particular player, am sure, the player would succumb to pressure... Is it what we want? So wait and watch the team performance. If the team is failing, they would correct. In a team game, we should see the team performance. Not all the eleven can contribute every match. One or two might fail and the others will make up rather back up. Nothing wrong in giving a run for Rohit instead of writing him off totally. After all, Rohit has done so much in Domestic and it is only fair that he gets some chances before he is condemned. Don't be harsh on Ashwin for speaking truth and his heart.

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    hello indian zen how you are saying aswing is better then bhajji in means, bhajji is a expeerinced test and odi player he got lot of wickets in hands but ashwin is just new to international cricket he couldnt bowl well in australia, he can bowl well only in subcontinent pitches

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    Gssmy, please tell me who are the better spinners than Aswin in the team, because last time i checked Ashwin was the lead spinner, that means that HE is the best spinner in the team

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    It is either STUPID or CRUEL or BOTH not to blood in Rahane!

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