Former India bowling coach Bharat Arun has said that Ravichandran Ashwin is the fittest he has seen in the last seven years and is conscious about his diet. Arun further added that Ashwin will provide more 3-4 years as he is working on his fitness and skills while playing for the national team.
India are scheduled to play a limited overs series against West Indies starting from February 6. BCCI have announced a squad for the series and there are a few changes in the ODI squad. The major change is the absence of Ravichandran Ashwin. There are reports that Ashwin was injured but no official statement regarding it has been released.
Ashwin made a return to the white-ball setup in the T20 World Cup last year. He also made a return to the ODI squad for the South Africa series concluded recently. Sharing his view about Ashwin, Bharat Arun has opined that this the fittest version of the player he has seen in the last seven years.
“Spinners mature with age. The older they get, the better they become. Ashwin is someone who constantly comes out of his comfort zone. This is the fittest I’ve seen Ashwin in the last seven years. He, too, is conscious about what he eats… he spends an equal amount of time on his fitness and skills. I am confident that we would see at least 3-4 years of outstanding cricket from Ashwin,” Arun said to Sportstar.
India scripted a historic Test series win in Australia last year. Ashwin had played a key role in the series taking wickets of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne often in the series. He had scalped 12 wickets from three fixtures in the series. Arun recalled that India head coach at that time, Ravi Shastri had told captain Ajinkya Rahane to bring Ashwin in the first hour of the Melbourne Test to bowl after India lost the toss.
“I remember the Melbourne Test last year, there was a fair amount of moisture on the wicket. When Ajinkya lost the toss, Ravi went and told him – try and bring Ashwin in the first hour because there was going to be enough moisture and bounce, and Ash can be lethal with that combination. Even Ajinkya told Ravi that “I was planning to do that”. Ashwin came on to bowl early in Adelaide, too, but we batted first, and then there was not so much moisture,” he stated.