Ravichandran Ashwin is arguably the best spinner in the world at the moment and his stats are insane.
Despite being one of the best performers in the side,
the veteran off-spinner was, for some reason, neglected by the team management and dropped on the bench whenever played away from home.
There was a time between 2018 and 2020 when the Chennai-born finger-spinner got so fed up with being ignored time and again that he started contemplating retiring from cricket altogether.
This was also the period where he was coping with multiple injuries and that is when doubts started to creep into his mind about his imminent future.
“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,”
Ashwin told ESPNCrininfo.
Ashwin, who recently surpassed Harbhajan Singh to become India’s third most successful Test bowler, said that when he was trying to recover and make a comeback after the injury, the people weren’t “sensitive enough” towards his injuries and doubted his commitment.
The 35-year-old spin wizard also blamed the team management for backing other players and leaving him on his own despite him performing at the highest level for so many years and winning countless matches for the country.
“I contemplated retirement for a lot of reasons.
I felt like people were not sensitive enough to my injuries. 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,” said Ashwin.
“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,” he added.
Ashwin didn’t mention any names but it was pretty clear that he was talking about Test skipper Kohli and former head coach Ravi Shastri, who were responsible for making all the decisions in the last four-five years.
The off-spinner felt that one thought that always baffled him was that the management backed a lot of players but him. Despite being one of the leading spinners in world cricket, those in the decision-making positions didn’t appreciate him enough and never gave him the respect that he deserved.
When India toured England earlier this year, the off-spinner didn’t get to play a single Test match, with Ravindra Jadeja making the starting XI ahead of his senior pro.
The fans and experts all around the world were astonished to see Ashwin warming the bench but Kohli and Shastri ignored all of them.
Despite being treated indifferently,
Ashwin fought his own battles and was able to make a comeback to India’s limited-overs set-up for the first time in four years.
The new white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma has described the spinner as an integral part of plans going forward and we just hope that Ashwin reaches new heights in the coming months and proves his critics wrong.
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