‘Lowest point was…’: Ashwin reveals his career’s tumultuous period

NEW DELHI: Ravichandran Ashwin, the esteemed off-spinner, etched his name in the annals of the sport on Friday, becoming just the second Indian bowler after Anil Kumble to secure 500 Test wickets.
This significant feat unfolded during the ongoing third Test against England, marking a historic milestone in Ashwin’s illustrious career.
The desire to excel and evolve has remained very intrinsic to Ashwin’s core existence but between 2018 and 19, the ace spinner felt that it was all over for him.Ashwin’s ascent to the coveted 500-wicket club is underscored by a deeply personal narrative of struggle and resilience. Recalling a period of adversity between 2018 and 2019, Ashwin revealed feeling ensnared in a “dark tunnel,” battling injuries and a crisis of confidence that cast doubt on his future in the game.
“Life has been all about ups and downs…for me, the lowest point was the phase between 2018 and 2019,” Ashwin disclosed candidly to Kumble, shedding light on the emotional turmoil he endured during this tumultuous period.

However, amidst the darkness, Ashwin discovered redemption and renewed purpose, catalyzed by the introspection brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were hit by the pandemic, and it gave me a really good reflection of life and what I wanted to play for,” remarked Ashwin, highlighting the profound impact of this period of self-discovery on his cricketing journey.
Ashwin’s journey to 500 Test wickets is a testament to his unwavering dedication to the sport and his relentless pursuit of excellence.
“The desire to excel hasn’t changed, and evolving as a cricketer has remained very organic to me,” affirmed Ashwin, underscoring his commitment to continuous growth and development.

As Ashwin basks in the glory of his monumental achievement, he acknowledges the significance of reaching the 500-wicket milestone.
“Look, I would be lying if I say 500 doesn’t mean anything. It does mean a lot,” admitted Ashwin, acknowledging the gravity of his accomplishment while maintaining a humble perspective.
Throughout his career, Ashwin’s journey has been shaped by the scrutiny of critics and the challenges of overcoming obstacles.
“More than people who teach you, I think the critics take you very high,” Ashwin reflected, recognizing the role of constructive criticism in his evolution as a cricketer.
(With inputs from PTI)

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