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Lanka lesson for Ashwin

Mumbai: Ravichandran Ashwin is following the ongoing England versus Sri Lanka series and is trying to take a cue from the Lanka slow bowlers.

“I have been watching the Sri Lanka series pretty closely to try and see if I can take advantage of the conditions there… how Sri Lanka are playing. Sri Lanka are pretty close to what we do in terms of sub-continental conditions. So am trying to take a leaf out of that book,” he said, at a promotional event here on Tuesday.

“It has been a good Test match, the last one. I have seen how (Rangana) Herath is bowling so that is something I can take a lesson from,” he said about the Lord’s match, that ended with Lanka holding on to a thrilling draw with one wicket in hand.

“I can only pick up what he (Herath) did well and see what I can jot down. I watched the game. I was having a look at how the conditions were and if the conditions are going to be similar.

“Sri Lanka has got a couple of good seamers and a good batting line up as well, so you never know what their (England’s) strategy is going to be against us,” he added.

India will commence their tour on June 26 with a three-day game in Leicester. The visitors are to play one more warm-up three-day game against Derbyshire (July 1-3) before the five-match Test series starts on July 9 at Trent Bridge.

“In any long series I believe how well you start is very important. We have got a few practice games and we can make a note of something which can be really useful for us,” he said.

Asked about India's chances against the hosts, the 27-year old said: “Like any cricket game it is a 50-50 chance. It doesn't really matter whom we are playing and where we are playing. The start of the series is going to be very crucial. How well you start is going to determine how the series goes.”

About his own preparations, Ashwin remained vague. “Nothing special. I am just looking to improve on the basics. I have just tried and tightened everything up and made sure that I enjoy my game. (I have) put in all the hard yards and see how well it goes.

“It is going to be exciting. In terms of preparation, I will just tick each box and see how it goes. I am just hoping it goes on really well and I just go there and take it easy and enjoy my game,” he added.

Ashwin brushed aside India’s four consecutive Test series losses overseas as irrelevant for a new series.