CHENNAI: India off-spinner R Ashwin has been an integral part of the Tamil Nadu team. Despite international engagements, he has been following the team and feels injury management among senior players is crucial. He also spoke about all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who apparently feels that he should be batting at No. 4 for Tamil Nadu as it would give him more time to bat. However, during an interaction with TNIE, Ashwin says that as one age, injury management becomes difficult and it's not easy to play in the same vein as before.
“Even in the India team, there is constant change in players (senior) in the team and new players come in. You need to strike a balance. Vijay is a fine player who has played the World Cup and has a lot of experience. He has had a lot of injuries and there is no better person to understand it (injuries) better than me. Sometimes people are not sensitive to injury,” he said.
The 34-year-old spinner insists that Vijay Shankar has struggled to get out of injuries now and then.
“Vijay Shankar has definitely struggled, but he will find a solution and can get his injuries sorted. B Indrajith, B Aparajith and Vijay Shankar have been the backbone of Tamil Nadu cricket for a while (5 -8 years), but there are a lot of promising youngsters also coming through. It’s a matter of managing roles and giving seniors the right role.”
The ace offie feels that TN should look to find a way to utilize the experience of Shankar. “It doesn't become easy to mange injuries as you grow old. Vijay is about 30-31 years old and to manage injuries when you get older is harder. So I think we must give right roles and we must balance it with youngsters coming in and seniors. We should look for a way forward, utilise Vijay Shankar’s experience and also blend it with the youngsters. It will be good for TN cricket if we strike a good balance and give more opportunities for youngsters.”
Talking about the way forward, Ashwin added: “Aging players need to be phased out and junior players need to be given more opportunity in Tamil Nadu cricket. Utilise the experience of seniors when needed and blend it with youngsters,'” he said