After becoming the second fastest bowler in the history of the sport to reach 200 Test wickets, Ravichandran Ashwin has been tipped by his mentor Sunil Subramanian to get to the 300-mark as well before the packed home season comprising of 10 more Tests comes to an end. However, the man himself does not want to give undue importance to personal landmarks and instead remains focused on the task at hand.
During a promotional event on Monday, the 30-year old quipped, “As of now, I am not looking at any numbers or chasing any targets. I am just enjoying the space I am in. When you are really doing well, you don't think about how well you are doing as that can lead to losing out on enjoyment from the game. So, at the moment I am not really looking too far ahead.”
Ashwin has been in unstoppable form with the ball and currently sits on top of the ICC Test bowlers rankings. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner is on a hot streak after securing his fourth successive Player of the Series award. With 220 wickets from 39 matches at an average of 24.29, the odds do not seem to be in his favor in terms of prising out another 80 scalps from the remaining 10 Tests in the ongoing season.
Ashwin has found his rhythm
However, he chose to channel his energy on continuing the impressive rhythm by alluding, “From last year or so, I have said that I have been bowling well. It is pretty clear from the way it is coming out of my hand. My rhythm and my action are falling in place. Of course, I have been deeply thinking about my game. I am trying to grasp as to what has gone right and what went wrong.“
“But, what I have understood is that rhythm is very important. Sometimes, it is difficult getting into the rhythm and it takes some time,” he went on to add.
Among the key points of his stellar performance in the New Zealand series was his clutch over their talisman batsman in Kane Williamson. It was not surprising when considering his dominance over the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and AB de Villiers over the past couple of years on subcontinental pitches.
Ashwin felt, “Honestly, I am really lucky to put aside these names. To have got better of them in games that I have played so far is pleasing to me. I am going to come up against a lot of good players in the coming few months. It could be very interesting and I hope that I start off on a good note.”
Perhaps, the biggest test of India’s ruthlessness will be their tussles against England who visit next month. Understandably, he remained guarded surrounding the complacency factor and insisted, “England is a very good side. It is not going to be easy to put it past them. I will do my homework and try ensuring that I stick to good lines and lengths and get my rhythm going. That is going to be the most important thing.“