When asked about how India is planning to face ‘wonder-kid’ Mustafizur Rahaman in the last ODI match of the series, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who is known for his sense of humor, replied yesterday “There isn’t a counter as such. I mean what can we do? Can we kidnap him? See it is not a media news. It’s international cricket. Everybody is a professional to analyse what needs to be done.”
He also praised the young pacer and the lethal variations produced by him. “He does bowl a good cutter, which is something we have to watch out for. We have to give him the respect as well. Respect is what is important in international cricket.”, said Ashwin.
Although he might have been quite humorous initially, Ashwin did not seem to be much happy when he was asked too many questions on Mustafizur and was clearly rattled when asked if the left arm pacer was a first of his kind India was facing which led to their downfall.
Ashwin’s said “No sir, honestly it’s not like that. I am not looking to snub or anything. He is a good bowler,you cannot deny what he has done or take the respect away from him. I am also happy for him. But I think the challenge starts here for him. As an international cricketer I would know it much better than anybody else. Now, people are going to watch out for him.”
When this same question was asked in a different manner, whether young debutants tend to trouble India or not, Ashwin claimed firmly that all those cricketers are nowhere to be seen now. “I can answer that cheekily but I don’t want to do it. Honestly, I think they are good bowlers. Ajantha Mendis, Mustafizur, Taskin. All these guys are good bowlers. You have got to give it to them. Some of them have fallen off the radar, but when these bowlers come on it’s always about a surprise element.”
Is the Indian team fearing a ‘Banglawash’, Ashwin quickly enquired, “What is a Banglawash?” When told that a series whitewash win in Bangladesh is known as ‘Banglawash’, he answered, “Hopefully, we will try and avoid a Banglawash!”
“There’s no question of hope. We’re going into the game looking to win. Yes we’ve lost the series, but we’d like to turn things around in this last game. It’s very important to stay relaxed at this moment. “We’ve had a quiet couple of days and I think everybody has reflected on what’s happened and we all know what needs to be done. The mood has got a little better now,” Ashwin said.
When asked about what will be India’s approach to the last match, Ashwin said, “A win! That’s all you can do. Everybody’s good enough.” He further added,”It’s not like we are looking to pick on anybody in the team or outside it like people would like us to do. It’s the end of the season for us so if we can cap it off with a win, it will be good. We have had a good season to be honest. We have won more than 75 per cent of our games in the last year,” said the 28 year old off-spinner.