Dubai: Ravichandran Ashwin, who showed he had lost none of his edge in white ball cricket on his return during a crucial win against Afghanistan, tried to diffuse the pressure on his team by saying the pros and cons for their semi-final entry is not in their hands.
“I think there are hardly any discussions with regards to that (semi-finals),” the senior off-spinner told the media during a zoom interaction ahead of their penultimate Group 2 match against Scotland on Friday.
“The discussion we need to have is how we’re going to go about the couple of games we have left, and everyone’s planning and wanting to go (out) on a real high for the last two games. That is stuff that’s not in our control. It’s fingers crossed.”
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Group leaders Pakistan have already qualified for the semi-finals but India’s hope to join them rests on a number of ifs and buts - they have to win their matches against associate countries Scotland and Namibia handsomely and pray for an Afghanistan win against New Zealand.
“It’s a funny game, and Afghanistan have played good cricket. A lot of our hopes rest with them as well. All the very best to them,” said Ashwin.
The match against Afghanistan was Ashwin’s first in white-ball cricket since mid-2017 and the off-spinner made a big impact on his return, picking up 2-14 in his first match in the tournament.
“The news that I got selected in the World Cup was very heartening,” he said. “I had some special dreams getting into the World Cup, wanting to do special things for the team.
“Unfortunately, after the first two losses, I did feel a bit low about it and wasn’t a special feeling. But after yesterday’s win, we still do have our fingers crossed and hope things go right. Barring that, it was quite a special night. Everything I wanted to execute fell in place. It was a special night for me.”