Medium pacer Aswin suffered a stress fracture in 2018 and subsequently underwent a back surgery in Christchurch, which forced him to stay on the sidelines for a long period. The 26-year-old, out of action for a considerable amount of time, will make his competitive return in the domestic T20 event after being named in the 20-man Tamil Nadu squad.
“I am excited to make a comeback to the state side after more than two-and-a-half years. To be honest, I am pretty happy. I feel like a youngster who is buzzing to make his debut. I look forward to performing well in the tournament,” Aswin told DT Next from Kolkata, host city for Elite Group B in which Tamil Nadu is placed.
“My short-term goal would be to contribute for the team’s success, be it in SMAT or the Vijay Hazare Trophy or the Ranji Trophy. I would like to express myself out in the middle and bowl fearlessly. I want to be at my best physically and mentally. It is also important that I don’t hold back,” said Aswin, currently undergoing the mandatory quarantine.
Aswin, who operated as a net bowler during Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) five-day camp at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in the city in August 2020, is ready to rise again.
“Ahead of IPL, I got to bowl to Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. Raina spoke to me about my bowling. At that time, I felt like I was back to my best. In the run-up to SMAT 2021, the Tamil Nadu team had a 10-day training camp in Chennai and it went well for me.”
In the absence of Ravichandran Ashwin, Thangarasu Natarajan and Washington Sundar, who are in Australia for the ongoing Test series, Tamil Nadu has had to make a few changes to its bowling unit. Despite entering into a relatively new-look attack, Aswin said that he has gelled well with his teammates.
“Even though Sandeep Warrier is from Kerala, I have known him for about six years as we used to train at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai. We are good friends and have been working together for quite some time. I have played with left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore in the past. I have also been in touch with the rest of the bowlers,” explained Aswin.