Ravichandran Ashwin, India's 3rd Highest Test Wicket Taker Didn't Know Whether He Would Play Test Cricket Again Due To Covid-19 Pandemic

Ravichandran Ashwin, India’s 3rd Highest Test Wicket Taker Didn’t Know Whether He Would Play Test Cricket Again Due To Covid-19 Pandemic

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin, who became India’s third-highest wicket-taker in Tests, made a staggering revelation to teammate Shreyas Iyer in a video following the culmination of the 1st IND vs NZ Test match in Kanpur,

Senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was dropped from the Test team from all of the 4 Tests against hosts England before he remarkably bowled well in the T20I World Cup 2021 on his comeback to the white ball squad after a 4-year gap following which he donned the whites again in the 1st Test vs NZ.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ravichandran Ashwin Didn’t Know Whether He Would Play Tests Again Due To Pandemic And Lockdown For Covid-19

The Tamil Nadu bowler, despite being one of the best spinners the nation has produced, is often dropped from Tests due to inexplicable reasons. But he always fights back, and that is why he is regarded as a modern-day great.

In an interview with teammate Man of the Match Shreyas Iyer(105 and 65), Ravichandran Ashwin made a staggering revelation, admitting that he was crossroads last year and didn’t know if he would ever be done the whites again.
For him to make this statement, hours after surpassing Harbhajan Singh to become the third-highest wicket-taker in Tests for India, speaks volumes of the struggles that stars have to go through.
Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP
Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP

On Monday, the 35-year-old Ravichandran Ashwin, who took his 419th wicket in his 80th Test to surpass Harbhajan Singh (417 in 103 Tests), said he got very candid with Shreyas Iyer in a chat.

“To be very modest about what is happening in my life and my career over the last couple of years, I did not know if I would go on to play Test cricket when we were in the pandemic, in the lockdown,” Ashwin said.

“I had not played (India’s) the last Test in Christchurch (which began on February 29, 2020). I was standing at the crossroads thinking whether I would play Tests again, where is my future headed, do I get into the Test team which is the only format I am playing. But God has been kind and I have been able to turn things around,” he said.

“I then shifted to Delhi Capitals when you (Shreyas) were captain and things have changed ever since,” he said in the interview shared by BCCI’s official Twitter handle.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has played 5 T20Is since his comeback in the limited-overs format after a gap of 4 years. He has picked 9 scalps at an average of 11.66 and an economy rate of 5.25, and a strike rate of 13.3. The 35-year-old Ravichandran Ashwin last played white-ball cricket for India in 2017(before returning in 2021 T20I WC) before being sidelined from one-day cricket following the Champions Trophy 2017 debacle.

Despite being the leading wicket-taker in the squad, he was left out from all 4 Tests that India played on the England tour. To date, he has picked up 419 wickets in the 80 Tests he has played for India, at an excellent average of 24.49.

Ravichandran Ashwin Rues Not Winning Despite Coming Close

The video was uploaded after India, and New Zealand played out a dramatic draw in Kanpur. Needing 280 runs to win with nine wickets in hand on a Day 5 pitch in India, the Kiwis managed to bat through the day as the final pairing of Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel batted for 51 balls.

Talking about the game, Ashwin said, ” After the game, it is still sinking in, the fact that we could not win, we were so close yet so far. It’s a tough thing to get over for me.”

Ajaz Patel (Photo Credit: ICC/Twitter)
Ajaz Patel (Photo Credit: ICC/Twitter)

“It happened once in Jamaica where we could not cross the line, on the last day we were trying to force a victory but could not get it. It takes some time for me especially as a bowler bowling in the last innings, but it just did not happen today,” said Ashwin.

Indian spinners, led by Ravindra Jadeja, put up one of their most persevering performances in recent times. Still, Mumbai-born Ajaz Patel (2 off 23 balls) and Karnataka-born Rachin Ravindra (18 not out off 91 balls) consumed 8.4 overs after the fall of the ninth wicket to keep New Zealand on an even keel in the two-match series.

A lot of credit should also go to night-watchman Will Somerville (36 off 110 balls), who first played the entire fifth morning to raise visions of the improbable draw.

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