My biggest pain is I don’t enjoy my success as much as I should have: Ashwin ahead of his 100th Test

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) As Indian spin maestro Ravichandran Ashwin gears up to play his 100th Test match, he revealed that “I didn’t enjoy my success as much as he should have” as he goes back to himself after every tour to become a better player.

During the fifth and final Test against England in Dharamshala, starting from March 7, Ashwin will be playing his 100th match in the longer format of the game.

In the third Test of the ongoing series in Rajkot, Ashwin became only the ninth and second Indian bowler after Anil Kumble to clinch 500 Test wickets joining the elite club of bowlers such as Muthiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Kumble, Glenn McGrath, Courtney Walsh and Nathan Lyon

In addition, he broke the 350-wicket barrier in home Tests and surpassed Kumble to become India’s top wicket-taker. Ashwin has claimed 507 wickets in 99 Test matches, 156 wickets in 116 ODIs, and 72 wickets in 65 T20Is.

Ahead of his momentous occasion, Ashwin was in conversation with Kumble on JioCinema titled Spin Maestros. When asked if things don’t go right or if they go right, whom do you fall back on? Ashwin replied: “I go back to one person and it’s very stressful for that person, and that’s me.”

“Because I think cricket is one of the greatest self-thought sports. And if you’re ruthless and very critical about yourself, I think it will give you the truth staring at your face. There are enough and more critics in India who will tell you, 10 of them will tell you the wrong things, but they’re definitely critical. But 10 of them will also tell you the right things,” he said.

“So, like I always maintain, my biggest pain has been the fact that I don’t enjoy my success as much as I should have. But, that has also helped me become a better cricketer. I have constantly looked for things to improve and I have made sure that I am very uncomfortable with who I am on a particular day. And then I get back to the drawing board and focus on what else can I do to bring more to the table.

“For example, Steven Smith has got a hundred against me, how do I nab him, or Joe Root has made a hundred, how do I nab him. So constantly that thought initiates a new action and eventually it has worked for me over the years, so I am comfortably seated there,” Ashwin added.

Speaking ahead of the momentous occasion, Ashwin humbly acknowledges the immense support and sacrifice of his family throughout his cricketing journey. He emphasizes that while the 100th Test holds personal significance, it means even more to his father, mother, wife, and children, who have been steadfast pillars of support and encouragement.

“The 100th Test matters a lot to me, but it matters more to my father, mother, wife, and even my kids. My kids are more excited about the Test. Families go through a lot during a player’s journey. My father still answers 40 calls on what his son did during a game,” said Ashwin to JioCinema.

When the 37-year-old queried about the challenges faced by spinners in terms of white-ball cricket and how he sees finger-spin bowling going forward, Ashwin said, “One of the greatest success stories of finger spin has to be how I have made a comeback in the T20 side and the ODI side over the last few years. It’s not something I am saying that it has happened to me, so hence it’s a success story. It’s sort of telling you that these are narratives, that things keep going up and down and at the end of the day these are narratives.

“There is nothing called finger-spinners being less efficient and wrist-spinners being more efficient or vice versa. The fact remains that the number of repetitions you give as any spinner or any bowler and the amount of awareness you have over your skill, will definitely supersede what part of the skill you possess. Because, I believe, as time passes by people tend to do less work. “

“Finger spin, wrist spin, fast bowling, slower balls, bouncer, all these things won’t matter. If you are a good bowler, you are a good bowler, doesn’t matter what you do,” he concluded.

Amidst his remarkable achievements, Ashwin etched his name in history as the first Indian cricketer to amass 100 wickets and 1000-plus runs against England in Test cricket, becoming the fourth player to achieve this feat after Gary Sobers, Monty Noble and George Giffen.

India leads 3-1 in the five-match series and will face England for the fifth and final match of the series at Dharamshala starting on Thursday.



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