Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed that he harboured fears of not being in action for a while after international cricket had come to a standstill, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The off-spinner said the same after his stellar performances with both bat and ball saw him win the 'Man of the Series' award against England.
In recent times, Ravichandran Ashwin has been dominant in home conditions, but owing to his indifferent away form, he was usurped by Ravindra Jadeja as the team's first-choice spinner away from home. However, an injury to Jadeja meant Ravichandran Ashwin had the chance to redeem himself Down Under, an opportunity be grabbed with both hands.
In the presentation ceremony after the fourth Test of the home series against England in Ahmedabad, Ravichandran Ashwin spoke about how the past few months have transpired for him.
"Due to the COVID situation, I never thought I would play cricket for some time, but here I am, having had one of the best months of my career," Ravichandran Ashwin said.
Ravichandran Ashwin thanks team management for backing him
Following Jadeja's injury ahead of the first Test of the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Indian captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri opted for Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of Kuldeep Yadav.
The team management felt Ravichandran Ashwin could contribute with both bat and ball. Ashwin opined that that confidence helped him a long way in having a successful series Down Under as well as at home against England. He said in this regard:
"Jadeja's injury was not a great thing, but both Virat and Ravi Bhai backed me and told me that the ball was coming out really well. They told me to enjoy my batting, and I feel really humbled and blessed. Because in Australia, I didn't really look like a starter. I wasn't going to start in the playing XI,"
Ravichandran Ashwin won a record eighth 'Man of the Series award' and was sensational against England, picking up 32 wickets and scoring 189 runs. His hundred on a rank-turner in Chennai was one of his high points in the series.
At 34, the veteran off-spinner is showing no signs of slowing down and only seems to be getting better with age, like a bottle of fine wine. That only augurs well for Team India's hopes of winning the inaugural World Test Championship at Lord's and their other upcoming Test assignments.