India’s ace spinner Ravi Ashwin has been a key cog in the Indian bowling wheel for a long time now. The senior bowler has been creating records with his sensational performances for the Indian cricket team.
He is currently the highest wicket-taker of 2021. He took 14 wickets in the Test series against New Zealand to end as the second-highest wicket-taker of the series. He was also awarded the Man of The Series. He is currently 3rd on the all-time Indian Test wicket-takers with 427 wickets.
However, the road to success wasn’t an easy one, he went through his shares of ups and downs. The cricketer even thought of quitting the game during his rough phase.
During the interview, Ravi Ashwin revealed how in the year 2018 he had given serious thoughts about calling it quits from the game after the England series. He revealed how three years back he used to feel tired just after bowling six balls. He also explained how he had to adjust his techniques to keep bowling along the same lines as he used to do. He said:
Between 2018 and 2020, I contemplated giving up the sport at various points. I thought, “I have put in a lot of effort, but it is not coming through.” The harder I tried, the farther it felt. Especially with athletic pubalgia and the patellar tendonitis – I used to bowl six balls and then I used to be gasping for breath. And there would be pain all over the place.
“So you needed to make adjustments. When the knee pain got excruciating, the next ball I would probably jump less. When I jumped less, obviously the force needs to be produced through the core and the back and the shoulders, so the pubalgia would act up. So the third ball I would be extra side-on to try to use the hips. By the time I was done with six balls, I would be like, “I need a break here.”
Further, Ashwin expressed how he felt that people were not sensitive towards his injuries and the problems he was facing. He also expressed how he felt bad about himself for not getting backed by the team management like how the other players were backed. He said:
“I contemplated retirement for a lot of reasons. I felt like people were not sensitive enough to my injuries. I felt like a lot of people were backed, why not me? I have done no less. I have won a lot of games for the team, and I am not feeling backed. I don’t usually look for help, that somebody needs to back me, that somebody needs to cushion me or give me empathy. I felt I was not being able to be excellent and felt I needed a shoulder to lean on. It was not happening. I thought maybe I should try to find something else and be excellent at that.”
Ashwin also said that he once again contemplated retirement after the Australia tour when he was injured again. He further revealed how the only person he would talk to was his wife. He revealed:
“Just after the England series in 2018, after Southampton, was one phase. Again in Australia later that year where I tore my abdomen after the Adelaide Test, before and after Sydney. Many stages,” said Ashwin.
“The only person I would be talking to was my wife. But my father was hell-bent: you will make a comeback in white-ball cricket, and I will see that before I die. For him it was more personal,”
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