I am past the phase of assessing my performance after every game, says Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin, one of cricket’s most brilliant thinkers, believes he has reached a point in his career when he is unconcerned about evaluating his own performance after each game.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit many people hard, the wily off-spinner believes the last two years have been good to him, with sustained success in Tests at home and a fruitful tour of Australia, where India created history by winning back-to-back series.
The 35-year-old, who has 442 Test wickets and played in the T20 World Cup in the UAE last year, also made a white-ball comeback after four years.
He has been rested for the T20 home series against South Africa later this month and will join the squad in the United Kingdom for the ‘fifth’ Test of the previous series against England.
“If you want a realistic answer, I am not assessing my performance at all. I am not in that phase of my life where I am thinking about what happened there and what happened here. Like I told you, I am living it by the day.
“The last two years have been hard on a lot of people but it has been very very kind and good to me. So just enjoying my game. I don’t know if it is evident enough on the ground or not. Also I am in totally in a very good space of mind,” Ashwin told PTI at the launch of Voot Select’s ‘Bandon Mein Tha Dum’.
Ashwin, who just finished the two-month IPL, will next seen in June-July during India’s tour to England, when the rescheduled fifth Test will completed with the visitors ahead 2-1.
After living out of bags for five months, the champion spinner is looking forward to spending his much-needed break at home.
“Honestly, I am pretty blank right now. We have had a long international season so not even thinking about all that in my head. I have been in bubbles forever, have got back home only after five months. It is about time I put the pause button on and live everyday and take it as it comes.”
With COVID-19 winding down, cricket boards around the world are looking to stage series that aren’t hard on the mind. That can only make Ashwin happy.
“Absolutely. More than anything else, we need to look at the larger picture. If we are able to get over the pandemic and things are getting back to normal, we all should be happy.”
Ashwin played both bat and ball in the team’s historic victory in Australia in January 2021. After suffering severe back spasms on day four of the Sydney Test. Ashwin returned on day five to bat alongside Hanuma Vihari. With consuming 128 balls between them to secure a draw that seemed like a win.
Ashwin spoke fondly about their collaboration. As India’s injury-ravaged squad tried to muster an eleven for the last Test, he was ruled out.
“The other game I played the game injured was in Southampton (2018). And it did not go on the right side of the coin for us. Again in Sydney, day four day of the game I had a severe back spasm. I was not sure if I could really get through the game but somehow wanted to.
“I prayed for a bit of of luck, that I had lesser pain the next morning. That the painkillers worked and all of that, I was praying quietly.
“Somehow I got through day four, took a couple of wickets, bowled non-stop spells even though it was hard. Harder than what Southampton (2018 England Test) was but I think a lot of it was destiny as well.
“One of the those series where there was a lot of effort. And that one percent luck for every single individual,” the eloquent spinner said.
After making his Test debut in 2011, Ashwin said that the team’s success in Australia would be difficult to match.
“Easily one of the best series, I have been part of. Even now, when you talk about it that feeling comes back, all those good memories. All those difficult phases we faced, the euphoria after the victory, everything stands tall even till now,” he added.
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