Ravichandran Ashwin revealed that he worked really hard on his fitness during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020, losing 7-8 kilos in that period. The grind helped him evolve into a fitter and better cricketer.
Ashwin had a good Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 and followed that with a dream run in Test cricket. In the 6 Tests he has played since the start of the Australia tour, he has claimed 36 wickets at 20.08. He has also scored 254 runs at 28.22, slamming a match-defining hundred at Chennai.
On Thursday, the off-spinner entered the record books by becoming the fourth Indian to join the 400-wicket club in Test cricket. After India’s 10-wicket victory over England in the third Test of the series in Ahmedabad, Ashwin revealed:
“I worked very hard on my fitness during the lockdown to get the body ready for the next 3-4 years. This body is ageing. I lost about 7-8 kgs in the lockdown and everything looked upwards for me since the Australia tour,” said Ashwin, 34, the second-fastest cricketer to the 400-wicket club.
Ashwin went on to be one of India’s stars in their successful 2-1 campaign in Australia.
Won’t be surprised if I improve further: Ravichandran Ashwin
After losing the first Test against England in Chennai, India have bounced back, winning consecutive Tests. Ashwin has been one of the key architects in those victories.
When asked if he was bowling his best, the Indian all-rounder replied:
“People are asking the same question. In 2015-16 everyone asked me (if I’m bowling at my best), in 2016-17 as well. One thing is sure I've always wanted to improve. I won't be surprised if I improve further in the future,” Ashwin added.
With 401 wickets in 77 Tests at 24.95, Ashwin is amongst the finest cricketers to represent India. Added to his wickets tally, he has 2,643 runs at 28.11 and has slammed five Test centuries.