To stay away from cricket was very tough: Ashwin

Source: PTI | Published on 5th October 2019, 7:09 PM | Sports News |

Visakhapatnam: Ravichandran Ashwin, playing his first Test match since December last year, says he badly missed playing for India in the last 10 months, so much so that the wily off-spinner stopped watching the game.

The 33-year-old, who has been playing only one format for India since July 2017, last played the Adelaide Test from December 6 to 10, the first of the four on the tour of Australia. To his disappointment, Ashwin did not feature in the playing XI in the following Test series against West Indies in August-September, when India only played one spinner, Ravindra Jadeja.

“To stay away from cricket itself was very tough for me. In order to substitute, I played whatever games I got. I played some county cricket for Nottinghamshire. I tried and played the TNPL as much as I could, played some league cricket in Chennai,” he said. “It was very important to tick those numbers off because that is essentially where I came from. Going back and playing there is probably the best thing that could have happened.”

By claiming his 27th five-wicket haul in Tests on Friday, Ashwin showed that he remained India’s go-to spinner in home conditions. Asked how spent his time away from the spotlight, Ashwin said: “I felt like every time I watched the game on TV I felt like wanted to play the game. I was missing out I felt, it is very natural. I just wanted to play. Everybody goes through it. But that’s not the end.”

“I tried different things in my life,” he added. “My life has revolved around cricket for the last 25 years. I thought my life, my family everybody deserved a bit more of my time so I tried to spend time away from the game. I discovered other interests (reading archaeology books was one of them). I did not fret too much about the game.”

Fitness issues had sidelined him on the tour of Australia. “In terms of addressing injuries and why it happened, it is best for the medical staff to do it,” he said when asked how he dealt with the injuries. “For me, I felt like all of a sudden I wasn’t playing all formats of the game. I was playing 12 months a year and up and down spike in workload probably would have caused it. That is why I went back and played wherever I got an opportunity and from my side I can tick those boxes and see how my body copes with it.”

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