Pressure Gets to Me Easily, Have to Be Calm During WC: Ashwin

Kolkata, Jan 31 (PTI): As he gears up to live the dream of being in a World Cup squad, young Indian off-spinner R Ashwin says he is trying all he can to be of more utility by improving his batting and, more importantly, learning to handle pressure which ''gets easily'' to him. 

"I'm trying my best to be an asset to the side. I'm working hard on my batting and want to be a utility man for the side so that I can be a real asset to the side. Pressure gets to me easily. I am working hard to be calm in a pressure-filled situation," Ashwin told PTI in an interview.

The 24-year-old player's rise from obscurity to rank among the top spinners in two years time is no fluke but Ashwin says he is not quite sure whether he would actually get a chance to play in the World Cup starting February 19.

"I'm not overly-excited or thinking of figuring in the playing XI in the World Cup. I don't know if I have a chance to make the playing XI. I will do whatever is there in my hands. That is a part and parcel of every game. It really does not get to me. I'm focussed in whatever I'm doing," Ashwin said.

Asked how he was gearing up for the World Cup personally, Ashwin said, "I have been working hard and working smartly for past five-six months. When I bowl, I put myself in the batsman's shoes, I keep thinking a lot.

"You really can't work hard on your skill but what you can do is to out-think the batsman on the field. You have to execute your plans well," Ashwin said.

On the three-pronged spin attack, Ashwin said, "Bhajji will lead the attack well. He has really been bowling well... he's always been inspirational and a guiding force. Also, I have the confidence and trust of my skipper (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) that helps in giving freedom as a bowler."

With the hype rising about India's prospects in the biggest cricketing extravaganza, Ashwin said: "Already there have been talks that this is the strongest Indian side ever. We are really good as a unit and well-suited to the domestic condition." 


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Title: Pressure Gets to Me Easily, Have to Be Calm During WC: Ashwin

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