Dubai, September 3, 2020: As the Indian Premier League (IPL) inches closer, Delhi Capital's Ravichandran Ashwin said that head coach Ricky Ponting has made it "very clear" to the players that they will have to manage their workload well as it is going to play a key role during the tournament.

"We've got a lot of energy reserve at this point and the eagerness to play the game is quite prevalent. The one thing Punter has made very clear to us is that we have to manage our workload well, and that's going to be the key. This is probably the longest window an IPL team gets for practicing for the tournament. It's usually 5-7 days, I've even joined the team just 2 days before the start because I've been playing for the national side right before that," Ashwin said in a statement.

"This is actually a wonderful opportunity to top up your skills, try out new things. It's like a laboratory to try things out in the game that you love so much. You can really pace yourself out, use your creativity and imagination, and settle into things as the tournament kicks off. It will be a slow and skeptical start for most teams, and that's one of the areas where I'd like to capitalize," he added.

IPL will be played from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE across three venues --Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. The tournament was originally slated to be played from March 29, but it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ashwin, who joined Delhi Capitals from Kings XI Punjab in a trade, said he is looking forward to working with the new team.

"I had heard a lot about the Delhi Capitals, and I look forward to working with Punter (Ricky Ponting). I've had some wonderful conversations with him over the last week or so. Shreyas is a lovely young leader who is very clear in his head, I've had a few chats with him too," said Ashwin, who has picked 125 wickets from 139 IPL matches.

"The whole atmosphere around the team is energetic with the youngsters. The mood in the camp is extremely exuberant. We've all gone through a difficult few months, and it's great to see people in high spirits, mingling with each other despite being locked in for a week in the hotel. We were very disciplined as a group, and everyone was strict about staying in. I think that showed how much we want to go out there and play together," added Ashwin.

Also, Ashwin said contributing with the bat is a challenge he loves.

"I feel that in the shorter format of the game, it's harder to be a bowler and easier to be a batter. My job is to come in at 7 or 8, and you're going to get 5-6 deliveries at the most, sometimes not even that. The last 2 years at Punjab, I started understanding these roles better. I understand my role with the bat better now, and I can contribute better than I have done in the past. Of course, bowling is what I enjoy. I don't mind going for runs, it's a challenge I love," he said.