'Journey Of Ups And Downs': Ravichandran Ashwin Ahead Of His Landmark 100th Test

'Journey Of Ups And Downs': Ravichandran Ashwin Ahead Of His Landmark 100th Test

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has reflected on his cricketing journey ahead of his landmark 100th Test

PTIUpdated: Thursday, March 07, 2024, 10:13 AM IST
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Ravichandran Ashwin. | (Image Credits: Twitter)

On the cusp of completing 100 Tests, India's premier off-spinner R Ashwin on Tuesday said he would not have become the bowler that he is now without the learnings from an underwhelming home series against England in 2012, at the end of which he was a "bit nervy".

That series loss remains India's last defeat at home and Ashwin's performance in the four-match rubber left a lot to be desired as the likes of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen played him with ease.

Twelve years later, Ashwin looked back at the turning point of his remarkable career, which now features 507 Test wickets.

"It is a pretty big occasion. More than the destination, the journey has been very special. It is a journey of ups and downs and a lot of learnings," said Ashwin, who will become only the 14th Indian to reach the 100-Test milestone when the final Test begins here on Thursday.

"One of the turning points of my life was the England series when Cook came here and made all those runs. It has been talked about a lot but to me that and what led to the next home series against Australia (changed a lot for me).

"There was lot of noise about me being left out of the team, one of the selectors had a chat with me. At that time I was a bit nervy though I don't know where it came from as I had done well previously," he recalled.

"Wonderful lesson that has been kept with me" - Ravichandran Ashwin

The criticism of his performance -- 14 wickets at an average of 52.64 in four Tests -- is still fresh in his mind but more importantly, he hasn't forgotten the lessons.

"When I went back and reflected on it after all those articles written about me, it dawned upon me that what was wrong with me. That is a wonderful lesson that has been kept with me all these years down the line.

"When I look back it, it taught me what I had to correct. Some of those questions were raised by me largely," said the 37-year-old.

"I had almost bowled India bowled to victory" - Ravichandran Ashwin on Edgbaston 2018

A majority of Ashwin's 507 wickets (354 to be precise) have come in favourable conditions and perhaps that is why he cherishes his effort in Birmingham on the 2018 tour of England. Ashwin picked up seven wickets in that Test, including the important ones of England run-machine Alastair Cook and Joe Root.

"It is Test wins that always stand tall. After having given it a thought, one of the finest spells that I have bowled has to be Birmingham, 2018. I bowled in both the innings, I bowled on the morning of day three and got three wickets.

"I got seven in the game and thought I had almost bowled India bowled to victory but didn't happen," he said referring to the game India lost by 31 runs.

Along with Ashwin, Jonny Bairstow will also complete 100 Tests in Dharamsala.

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