Ravichandran Ashwin picks his most memorable match of 2016
2016 has been a fantastic year for Ravichandran Ashwin as the Indian offie had a successful World T20 followed by the West Indies tour that gave him a lot of confidence going into the New Zealand and England series at home. The icing on the cake for him should be winning the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year.
The Tamil Nadu spinner is an integral member of the current Indian team as he is capable of winning matches on his own with the ball and can contribute runs with the bat. In an interview with Sport360, Ashwin said being the MVP in the team is his mantra to success and not just an end result.
Ashwin said, “I think I am always the most important cricketer in the team and most important cricketer for myself. I want to be invaluable for any team that I am part of, be it a league game in Chennai, Ranji Trophy match for Tamil Nadu, IPL teams or for India. I take a lot of pride in my performance. So my contribution is my only focus and not what I bring to the game or who I was before I got into the game.”
He is one of the most improved cricketers in the world in the last couple of years and the spinner feels that he hasn't changed much but became a bit more matured.
“I haven’t changed much, to be honest. The changes visible out on the field are a reflection of the complicated person you see in me. You won’t see many people around in the world, in any profession, who will be able to change or go all in to try and change something about themselves to be excellent. I am proud of myself but I feel I haven’t changed that much, just matured a bit more,” he revealed.
Ashwin’s incredible year, his most satisfying performance
In 2016, Ashwin has taken 72 wickets in 12 Tests at an average of 23.90 including 8 fifers. With the bat, his contributions are very crucial for the team as the right-hander has scored 612 runs in 14 innings at a healthy average of 43 with 4 fifties and 2 centuries. In the three ODIs he played, he took 3 wickets and 23 T20I wickets in 17 matches at an average of 16.17.
He performed in almost every Test he played this year and termed his efforts at Antigua as the most satisfying performance. He scored a century in the first innings and picked up seven wickets in West Indies’ second innings to help India win the match.
“Antigua is one of the special ones as how it happened. I had got a hundred in the first innings. My dream was to score a hundred and pick up five wickets in a Test. I started off on a good note, batted at number six, scored a hundred. In the first innings, I didn’t get any wicket. What gives me a kick is people throw me down, criticise me and speculate about me. And when I come roaring back into the game and prove myself is what gives me a kick and that’s why it (Antigua match) was memorable,” he conceded.
Ashwin wins ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC Test Cricketer of the Year
Ashwin thanked his teammates, coaching staffs, family members etc. after winning the ICC award before crediting the Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli for helping him express himself better as a cricketer.
“As a batsman, you don’t need a lot of help from anybody. You are on your own. You are given a number, you go out and bat and control most of your things. But as a bowler, it is very important you have the confidence and support of the captain on the field. As important it is to pick up those wickets and try and turn the game around, it’s also about the captain throwing you the ball and saying ‘come win the game for me’… or throwing the ball to me with a little bit of a doubt. It makes a huge difference to a bowler. Virat deserves a lot of credit for that,” Ashwin concluded.Published 24 Dec 2016, 14:32 IST