“I could never be a Virat Kohli, something I've made peace with”: R Ashwin on him not being naturally athletic

Ashwin is not considered as one of the most agile fielders in the Indian team.

Ravichandran Ashwin | GettyVeteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is widely regarded as one of the shrewd minds in the game. He has been a top performer for India in the last decade, especially in Test cricket.

In 94 Tests, the ace off-spinner has claimed 489 wickets so far at an average of 23.65, including 34 five-wicket hauls. He was also part of the Indian team that won the ODI World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013.

While Ashwin is not considered as one of the most agile fielders, he has always been willing to put in the hard yards for the team. In fact, he has improved his fielding by leaps and bounds with sheer hard work over the years.

Speaking to former India cricketer WV Raman, Ashwin opened up on the sacrifices he has made to meet the requirements of the modern-day game.

"I would say it is one of the easiest sacrifices I have made in my life. I have worked hard on my fitness but I would never hold it against me or never give it as an excuse. The reason I say that is because the game is something that I love so much. And if you love something so much, anything that comes along with it that you have to do to stay relevant is just a natural extension," Ashwin told Raman on his show for Sportstar.

The 37-year-old also acknowledged that he may never reach the same level as someone like Virat Kohli when it comes to fitness.

"I have sacrificed my food, I have sacrificed my lifestyle, I train doubly harder and yet I could never be a Virat Kohli. And that is something I've made peace with, because that is his journey and this is my journey. For me, not being naturally athletic is something that stuck as a tag with me all through my life but it's never stopped me from working hard on it and stay relevant. For me, staying relevant, to be able to put myself on the ground and exhibit my skill has been at the forefront. I have never really seen it as a sacrifice. Instead, it's been an absolute journey of pleasure and joy," he added.

During the recently held World Cup, Ashwin featured in only one match for India. He is likely to return to action in the upcoming Test series against South Africa, starting December 26 in Centurion.


By Salman Anjum - 30 Nov, 2023

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