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R Ashwin 'not desperate' for quick limited-overs return

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Exclusive: Want to make a difference in 2019 World Cup - Ashwin (4:17)

India offspinner R Ashwin speaks to George Dobell about his motivation behind playing County Cricket, his limited-overs aspirations, and wanting to make a difference to the team in the 2019 World Cup (4:17)

Since the 2015 World Cup, R Ashwin has played only 15 of India's 47 ODIs, taking 17 wickets at an average of 40.58. During the same period, left-arm spinners Axar Patel (23) and Ravindra Jadeja (17) played more ODIs than Ashwin. More recently, when Ashwin was dropped for the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka and the ongoing series at home against Australia, wristspinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal impressed and offered a fresh edge to the attack.

Ashwin, however, has said he had not done much wrong to remain on the sidelines of India's limited-overs team.

"I am not desperate at all," Ashwin, who is currently playing the Ranji Trophy for Tamil Nadu, said ."One day, the opportunity will come knocking on my door because I haven't done too much wrong. So when I get the opportunity and when I am put in an occasion, I will probably try and raise my game to the best of my ability."

While naming the squad for the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka, chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad stressed that fitness would be a key parameter while picking the 2019 World Cup squad. Later in August, India's coach Ravi Shastri echoed Prasad's comments and wanted his side to have the "best fielding XI" at the World Cup.

"I am a man for systems and any system put in place, I would strive my level best to try and match up to it," Ashwin said, when asked about fitness. "Every leader has his own vision of how to bring the team about. This is the vision of the current leadership group and it's important to respect it.

"I have been in great conditioning ever since I missed the IPL. I have trained madly. You have to take the (Yo-Yo test) and decide how it goes. But I am completely in compliance with it."

Since the start of India's 13-Test home season last year, Ashwin has bagged 99 wickets in 16 Tests, including eight five-wicket hauls at 25.38. With India set to tour South Africa at the end of this year, and later England and Australia - where pitches tend to offer less assistance to spin - Ashwin recognised the need to shift from an attacking role to a supporting role.

"For me, its all about bowling well and trying to get into top rhythm," he said. "It is about constantly revisiting my best. Maybe, I will not be the type of attacking bowler when we tour abroad. I need to do a good holding role."