One Day the Opportunity Will Come Knocking on My Door – Ravi Ashwin
The last few months would have been enough for Ravichandran Ashwin to get a feel of how cruel the game of cricket could be. The spin spearhead of the Indian team and arguably the best off-spinner in the world at the moment, Ashwin has surprisingly fallen in the pecking order in India’s limited-overs team.
Ashwin was not in the thick of team’s plans during the Champions Trophy and did not get included in the side for the series against Sri Lanka and most recently Australia as well. The team management has reiterated that the 30-year-old features in the team’s plan for the forthcoming World Cup, but the stats and the latest turn of events suggest otherwise.
Since 2015 World Cup, India have played close to 50 ODIs, but the Tamil Nadu ace has played just 15 of them, taking only 17 wickets at 40.58. Moreover, the team is backing wrist-spinners at the moment who are doing exceedingly well due to which many think that Ashwin, as well as Ravindra Jadeja, would find it tough to win back their places in the limited-overs team.
However, the off-spinner is confident ‘one day the opportunity will come knocking’, and he will rise to the occasion.
“I know one day the opportunity will come knocking on my door because I haven’t done too much wrong. When I get that opportunity, I’ll probably rise to the occasion,” said Ashwin who is currently plying his trade in the Ranji Trophy while the national team is playing against Australia.
When asked whether he is not finding a place in the team due to Virat Kohli’s fondness of wrist-spinners, Ashwin said:
“The day I become a decision maker, I’ll probably be in a better position to answer that question. I’m not a decision maker, as of now. I have never played for the crowds. I enjoy my game, and even if I am playing a fifth-division match, I’ll enjoy it a lot. The atmosphere doesn’t matter. Obviously, I’ll raise my game to the occasion but I definitely love playing the game, so I am not missing anything at all.”
Ashwin further said he is ready to change himself according to the demands of the current team management which prefers fitter and multidimensional players.
“I’m a man of the system. Any system put in place I strive to the best of my abilities to try and match up to it,” said Ashwin. “Every leader has his own vision of how to bring the team about, and this is the vision of the current leadership group. It’s very important to respect it. If I were a leader, I would expect everyone else to respect it.
“I have been doing some great conditioning ever since I missed the IPL (Indian Premier League). I have trained pretty madly. I am completely in compliance with whatever they do,” he added.
After not including Ashwin in the squad for the series against Sri Lanka, the selectors reasoned that the off-spinner was on rest. However, the 30-year old soon signed up to play for Worcestershire in the English County, much to everyone’s surprise.
“It’s my attitude that landed me there [England]. For me, it’s all about playing cricket. I have missed the IPL, and I missed a fair amount of cricket this year due to injuries and due to unfortunate happenings in the combination of the team or whatever you may want to call it. I had been in touch with a few guys in England, and they had been asking me (to play county cricket),” he said.
“One such message landed in my inbox one day, and I didn’t even know that I wasn’t playing the ODI series (Australia). I just said I would be interested to be there. Eventually, it all worked out, and the club I went to was one of the best clubs there,” he added.
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