Ravichandran Ashwin Reflects On 'Very Dark Time In Life' After Taking 500 Test Wickets

Ravichandran Ashwin Reflects On 'Very Dark Time In Life' After Taking 500 Test Wickets

Ravichandran Ashwin has opened up on the bottomless pit he hit after getting to 500 Test scalps

PTIUpdated: Friday, February 16, 2024, 08:27 PM IST
article-image
Ravichandran Ashwin. | (Image Credits: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin on Friday became the second Indian bowler after Anil Kumble to take 500 Test wickets during the third Test against England --- a feat which means a lot to the senior off-spinner after enduring a phase when he did know how to come out of the "dark tunnel" he had hit.

Ashwin also became only the third off-spinner to achieve the feat and continues to be the second highest wicket-taker for India behind Kumble, who ended his career with 619 scalps.

The 37-year-old reached the milestone on day two of the ongoing Test. He needed just one wicket for the feat and that came in the way of opener Zak Crawley, who mis-timed a sweep which landed in the safe hands of Rajat Patidar at short fine leg.

The desire to excel and evolve has remained very intrinsic to Ravichandran Ashwin's core existence but between 2018 and 19, the ace spinner felt that it was all over for him, leave alone thinking about having a shot at 500 Test wickets.

"Lowest point was the phase between 2018 and 2019" - Ravichandran Ashwin

Playing his 98th Test, Ashwin did speak about the darkest phase of his career when he felt that he was hitting a "bottomless pit".

"For me, life has been all about ups and downs and for me the lowest point was the phase between 2018 and 2019. I was the ICC Cricketer of the Year and I was on top of the world and from there to actually go to a really, really bottomless pit, was a very dark time in my life," Ashwin told Kumble after the end of play on day two.

Someone who has been a fierce competitor, Ashwin said that was the phase when he really didn't know if he would ever be able to derive the joy of playing cricket.

"When I am down, I am not really beaten" - Ravichandran Ashwin

It was in 2018, when his abdominal injury prevented him from giving his best against England on a rank turner at Southampton, a Test India lost.

At the end of the year, the series against Australia was equally bad as he didn't compete in full series after bowling 86 overs in the first Test in Adelaide, forcing the then skipper Virat Kohli to urge him to do "course correction".

While Ashwin didn't take any names, it was the same phase that he spoke about when he didn't know the way to make a comeback.

"Generally I am not someone who is fazed by the downs of life because when I really have a good day, I just talk to my parents, my wife and watch good movie and go to sleep. When I am down, I am not really beaten and I do think about it and always come out on the other side of it.

"But that was a really, really dark tunnel for me as I didn't know what hit me and how I got placed there. And then I had a couple of injuries, adductor strain and it was a really dark phase and when I thought, I was almost done then," he revealed.

Ashwin has been one astute reader of the game, who is very aware about his numbers and he didn't shy away from admitting that 500 wickets does mean a lot.

"Look I would be lying if I say 500 doesn't mean anything. It does mean a lot but it has not sunk in yet but like I said, from 2020, the way I look at the game and way my life has been is very different to what it was earlier," he added.

With Ashwin among the wickets on day 2, he would want to exploit whatever help is available from the wicket to bring England down.

RECENT STORIES

'No Form, No Runs... Rinku Singh Doesn't Justify Selection' In India's T20 World Cup Team: Monty...

'No Form, No Runs... Rinku Singh Doesn't Justify Selection' In India's T20 World Cup Team: Monty...

Malaysia Masters 2024: PV Sindhu Struggles Past Korean Sim Yu Jin To Storm Into Quarterfinal

Malaysia Masters 2024: PV Sindhu Struggles Past Korean Sim Yu Jin To Storm Into Quarterfinal

'Few Little One-On-One Conversations': Ricky Ponting Turns Down Offer To Coach Team India

'Few Little One-On-One Conversations': Ricky Ponting Turns Down Offer To Coach Team India

'IPL Trophies Are Not Won By Celebrations and Aggression': Ambati Rayudu Takes Dig At RCB After...

'IPL Trophies Are Not Won By Celebrations and Aggression': Ambati Rayudu Takes Dig At RCB After...

Video: AB de Villiers' Animated Expressions During Commentary Of IPL 2024 RR vs RCB Eliminator Go...

Video: AB de Villiers' Animated Expressions During Commentary Of IPL 2024 RR vs RCB Eliminator Go...