'Hoping for a hundred from Dravid'
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin attributes his success in the ongoing ODI series against England to the adjustments he has made to his bowling for English conditions.
"I have tossed more because the ball hangs (in the air) a bit more here. It's better to look for help in the air than from wicket. It's better than I go after him (batsman) than he coming after me. It doesn't help if you sit back. I would rather live by the sword and die by it," said Ashwin who has picked up six wickets from four matches at 21.00.
Ashwin said he suffered from trepidation before leaving for England for the one-day series.
"This is the experience I will always cherish. I will put it in my back pocket as I might have to come back here and do well for India. I have loved every bit of experience. They have hit out, I have picked wickets -- I will treasure it all.
"It's not easy on English soil as spinners. The practice game really helped. I wanted to go in a certain fashion and I'm happy I could execute what I had planned," he added.
Image: R Ashwin
Photographs: Getty Images
'England played better cricket than us'
The tall off-spinner emphasised that he attached himself more to the team's success than his own.
"If you attach to team than to yourself personally you'd have more success than failure. You would enjoy more success. I feel this team has a lot in it to keep winning for a longer period of time," said Ashwin
Also, rather than lamenting the close losses in the last two games, Ashwin wanted to look at the bigger picture.
"They played better cricket than us. They were more gutsy than us. If a couple of things had gone our way, they would have felt as we feel now.
"But then you can lose a few battles but a war has to be won in the end and we would rather look at bigger picture and prepare with the 2015 World Cup in our mind. It's a process we have been sticking to. We go to a game well planned and well oiled and we look to win. Make no mistake we are as desperate to win as everyone else is," he added.
Image: England players celebrate after getting an Indian wicket
Honour to play alongside Dravid
To stress his point, Ashwin cited the example of Rahul Dravid who is retiring from One-day cricket on Friday but came an hour before everyone else to have extra nets at Sofia Gardens this morning.
"Dravid is the best example we can get. In the last two years I have been playing, I hadn't played a single game with Dravid who's been my childhood hero.
"I hope he gets a hundred and finishes his one-day career on a high," he added.
Image: Rahul Dravid in action
India played well in patches
Ashwin believed that India could have done well had the second Test gone in their favour last month.
"We have played well in patches but it hasn't gone our way. In the second Test, we had made a fair progress. It was a fifth Test in a row and ultimately we buckled up. We needed an inspirational Test to stay alive. Once that happened, it was an uphill task from then on. It was difficult to catch up with England," Ashwin said.
The Chennai bowler doesn't like the fact that he has been labelled as a one-day bowler.
"The IPL has showcased a format which is visible on TV. I started for Tamil Nadu and won the best bowler award in a four-day competition. It just tells me I am good enough," he added.
Image: Ajinkya Rahane
'We will do better in India'
The competitive cricketer believed England wouldn't find it easy when they tour India next month.
"It's bound to be different. There would be more people in the stands. It wouldn't be like you can play on the up as they do in England. Conditions would be different. We might enjoy an upper hand. We might do better."
Asked to explain the Indian team's absence in the ICC awards function in London the other night, Ashwin said as players, the team needed direction from the authorities.
"It depends on authorities what they want us to do. From a player's point of view, it was another day off for me."
Image: Ashwin celebrates after picking up a wicket