Kept hearing murmurs about people saying 'this guy is finished': Ashwin Photograph:( AFP )
R Ashwin opened up and recalled a time when people had written off him. The wily off-spinner is currently involved in India's three Tests versus South Africa in the African nation.
R Ashwin is currently involved in India's three-match Test series versus South Africa, in the African nation. The 35-year-old was part of India's historic 113-run win over the Dean Elgar-led Proteas at SuperSport Park, Centurion. The off-spinner attained two wickets in the match and will hope to contribute more in the remaining two Tests and lead India to their first-ever series win in the rainbow nation.
Recently, the spin-bowling all-rounder Ashwin recalled a time when people had written him off completely. In 2021, Ashwin made a comeback in the limited-overs setup after four years when he was part of the T20 World Cup and New Zealand T20Is at home. On the last day of 2021, he was also named in India's 18-man squad for the Proteas ODIs. While the offie is now back to featuring in all forms of the game for Team India, he had to struggle for a long time between 2017 to mid-2021; only playing the Tests. Thus, Ashwin recalled the time when criticism from people -- who lost faith in the spinner and wrote him off -- affected him.
Speaking on Backstage with Boria, Ashwin said, "As a sportsman, you are engulfed by criticism. You want to overcome that. A lot of people wrote me off. I used to walk into club games in Chennai and I used to put in the hard yards. And I would hear murmurs about people saying ‘this guy is coming a`nd playing because his international career is done, he is finished’. I used to keep hearing these things. Sometimes it’s easy to laugh off, sometimes it hurts.
"I used to wake up during the pandemic every single day telling myself - it doesn’t matter what people think, but this particular cricketer, this particular character has, has something left. And, this is not how I want to leave. It used to be a hard battle. I used to train twice in a day. I reviewed over 3-10 dietitians. I am definitely eating better, training better and more positive inside my head," Ashwin further said.
Ashwin ended 2021 being the highest-wicket taker in the purest format (54 scalps). Being back in the reckoning in the limited-overs setup, he will now hope to perform in a similar stead in all forms of the game for Team India in 2022.