Ravichandran Ashwin says it’s too early to comment on Rahul Dravid’s coaching style, but the Indian first spinner is confident happiness will be back in the dressing room under the faithful’s guidance.
Dravid replaced Ravi Shastri in the Indian setup, beginning its stint with the ongoing India-New Zealand Twenty20 series.
Ashwin has returned to India’s limited overs team after spending four years on the sidelines. Since mid-2017, the spinner hasn’t been able to play a single clean ball game and even warmed up the benches during the team’s recent England Test tour.
The 35-year-old made a comeback in the recently concluded T20 World Cup when he played against Afghanistan and is now part of the squad that face New Zealand, winning two wickets in the first game of series.
“It’s too early for me to comment on Rahul Dravid’s coaching style but he has put the yards on at U-19 level,” Ashwin told the official broadcaster after India’s five-wicket win on Wednesday.
“He won’t leave much to chance, and he will focus on the preparation and the process, so that we can bring happiness back to the Indian dressing room,” he added.
India have a new leadership in place with Dravid taking over from Shastri and Rohit Sharma replacing Virat Kohli as T20 captain.
Speaking about the first T20, Ashwin said he found that reducing the pace of the ball worked wonders.
“The slower you rode, the more buy you had on that terrain. If you hit the seam and throw it, it did things like Santner showed in the second run,” he said.
“It’s tricky in the T20s, you can’t miss your lengths and you don’t know when to throw it, but here it helped give it some air.”
Given a manageable goal of 165 points, Ashwin thought they’d cross the line soon enough and the game wouldn’t drag on to the final.
“It was a slightly lower score than par and we thought 170-180 would be even. We thought we’d go home around the 15th, but that’s T20 cricket for you.
“I made the first play on the power play, and it’s important to figure out the pace to play and it took me a while to figure that out.
“It’s about varying the pace and knowing when to vary it. It is important to consider each of the 24 balls as an event and to consider each ball in isolation and as an opportunity,” he said.