IND v ENG 2024: “I have made peace with the fact…,” R Ashwin expresses his feelings on being dropped in overseas Tests

Ashwin is set to play his 100th Test match against England in Dharamsala.

R Ashwin | GettyDuring the fourth Test against England in Ranchi, R Ashwin became only the second Indian after the legendary Anil Kumble to achieve the milestone of 500 Test wickets.

The Dharamsala Test, scheduled to start on March 7, will mark Ashwin’s 100th appearance in the longest format of the game. He is set to join an elite list of 13 Indian cricketers who have achieved the feat of playing 100 Tests for the country.

Out of 99 Tests so far, Ashwin has won 58 with India and played a key role in them with 354 wickets at an impressive average of 19.11. Yet, the off-spinner quite often warmed the bench on overseas tours, especially in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) countries.

Ahead of his landmark game, Ashwin said that he has now made peace with the fact that sometimes he will have to sit out as per team’s plans.

“I don’t want to sound controversial. I can compare this to a lot of other things that are happening in the world right now. But I genuinely do feel that bowlers play second-fiddle to the batters. That’s because probably, batters just get that one chance. I mean you are knocked out; you are out,” Ashwin said while speaking to Anil Kumble on JioCinema.

“This used to play on my mind constantly: Why is it that I get one game to fail and why is it that somebody else gets more games to fail? Eventually I have made peace with the fact that the team needs to win. Even when I am not playing and the team wins after five days, I am the most delighted person in the dressing room,” he added.

Ashwin further stated that he has learnt to deal with disappointments after being around in international cricket for over a decade.

“When I was young, all I wanted to do was wear the India jersey for one day. Just because of who I am today, I cannot put my selfish interest ahead of the team. Yes, there have been disappointing days, but I have learnt how to deal with it, and I am extremely happy that I played alongside some of the great cricketers that India has ever produced,” he remarked.

Ashwin also explained how he self-motivated himself to keep improving consistently and how criticism helped him on his way.

“I go back to one person (on who he goes to after a tough tour) and it’s very stressful for that person, and that’s me. Because I think cricket is one of the greatest self-thought sports, Anil bhai. And if you’re ruthless and very critical about yourself, I think it will give you the truth staring at your face. There are enough and more critics in India who will tell you, 10 of them will tell you the wrong things, but they’re definitely critical. But 10 of them will also tell you the right things.

“So, like I always maintain, my biggest pain has been the fact that I don’t enjoy my success as much as I should have. But, that has also helped me become a better cricketer. I have constantly looked for things to improve and I have made sure that I am very uncomfortable with who I am on a particular day. And then I get back to the drawing board and focus on what else can I do to bring more to the table. For example, Steven Smith has got a hundred against me, how do I nab him, or Joe Root has made a hundred, how do I nab him. So constantly that thought initiates a new action and eventually it has worked for me over the years, so I am comfortably seated there.”


By Salman Anjum - 05 Mar, 2024

    Share Via