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‘Told my Wife That Australia Series Could Become my Last’: India Superstar’s Jaw-dropping Revelation After WTC Final – News18

Last Updated: June 17, 2023, 10:33 IST

Ravichandran Ashwin is currently ninth on the list of highest wicket-takers in Test history. (AFP Photo)

A knee injury during the Bangladesh tour last year left India cricketer wondering if his Test career is coming to an end

A lot has been said and written about India snubbing Ravichandran Ashwin for the final of the ICC World Test Championship which they ended up losing by a mammoth margin. While it’s anybody’s guess whether Ashwin’s inclusion would have changed the result, leaving out the world’s top-ranked bowler who also happened to be India’s leading wicket-taker during the WTC 2021-23 WTC cycle for a clash of such magnitude did raise some eyebrows.

Ashwin must have been disappointed at him warming the bench while watching his teammates with whom he guided India to their second straight WTC final.

However, Ashwin, currently the ninth most prolific wicket-taker in Test history, isn’t someone who gives up easily. In fact, he has over the course of his career experimented with his action, even bowling leg-spin, to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the rapidly evolving cricketing landscape.

“I’m very proud of what I’ve done in my life not just because of wickets or runs < ” Ashwin told The Indian Express. “But how consistently I have been to able to reinvent myself. One thing that really plagues cricketers or anybody as they grow old is insecurity. For me, it’s how cricketers get locked when they get older and when they get experienced; you want to hold on to something so tight, that you eventually end up breaking your own neck.”

Ashwin recalled how midway during the Bangladesh tour last year, he had to deal with a painful knee issue that led him fearing for his Test career.  The 36-year-old decided to rework on his bowling action to deal with the challenge.

“When I came back from Bangladesh, I told my wife that the Australia series could become my last series. I used to have some knee issues. I told I am going to change my action because it really got a lot of momentum and with that when I was landing, my knee was buckling a little bit. I hadn’t done enough workload because of the T20 World Cup but I was not just not happy with the way the ball was coming, it was just scrambling a little bit here,” Ashwin said.

“By the second Test (in Bangladesh) it started to pain. It was really swelling up. So just thinking okay, how do I do this? Because I bowled really well for three-four years, right? To change my action, it’s got to be the most stupid and ridiculous thing to do. So I came back and said, listen, there’s a lot of load on the knee, it’s time to change and I’m going to go back to my action that used to bowl in 2013-14,” he added.

In the lead up to the Border Gavaskar Trophy, Ashwin had to take injection to deal with the pain.

“So I went to Bangalore, I had to take an injection at that point in time, so, I changed my action. I started bowling and my knee pain went away. I practiced for three-four days in Nagpur and I went into the Test match without having played a game with that action at all. On the first day of the Test, I didn’t even feel like a bowler for three to four overs but I was able to get on with it because of the awareness I have,” he said.

Ashwin was the joint player-of-the-series alongside Ravindra Jadeja as India retained BGT.

“And I am proud of the Player of the Series award. I think that is probably one of the best series I have had and the best bowling performance for me in a series in the last four-five years. I have done a lot of good stuff in the last five years, but still, it felt like that,” Ashwin said.

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