“The purpose of playing First Division games is to shift from 20 overs to this (red-ball) format” – R Ashwin begins preparation for England Test series

The fifth and final Test match between India and England will take place at Edgbaston Stadium on July 1 this year. The match was meant to be played last year, but it was rescheduled because to a covid pandemic in the Indian team.

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Ravichandran Ashwin showed up for his club team days after quite a tough IPL 2022 season with Rajasthan Royals, and the top Indian spinner claims that he did so to go to the red ball cricket mentality ahead of the rescheduled fifth Test in England commencing July 1. Before the Test at Edgbaston, they will play a warm-up match against Leicestershire.

The five-match Test series is 2-1 in India’s favour after the first four games. Following India’s victory at Lord’s, the first of the five matches finished in a tie. The third test was won by England, while the fourth test was won by India.

In the TNCA First Division semifinal and final, Ashwin decided to play for his club side MRC ‘A’.

“The purpose of playing these games (First Division) is to shift from 20 overs to this (red-ball) format… All these things are workload management. As you grow older, you play more and play smarter. I am trying to do that. I am enjoying my game. I just want to go there (England) and take it as it comes. I feel I can contribute with the bat and bowl well. I want to keep ticking on my fitness and keep working,” after guiding MRC ‘A’ to their first First Division victory, the 35-year-old spinner told the reporters.

Ashwin, who wants to see Tamil Nadu reclaim their Ranji Trophy dominance, believes that actions are needed to bring back the red-ball culture in the state, and that the TNCA should return to a three-day or four-day format for the First Division league next year, which is currently played on a two-day format.

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