Veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed that in the year 2018 he had given serious thoughts on retiring after the England series.
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The Tamil Nadu based off-spinner mentioned that he went through a torrid period between 2018 and 2020 when he was ignored for the limited over format. Ashwin also missed from a number of test matches in that year.
In an interview with The Cricket Monthly, Ashwin revealed that he had given serious thoughts on retiring after being ignored despite giving some stellar performances for his side. He added that there was a time three years ago when the off-spinner used to get tired just after bowling just six balls.
Ashwin’s place in the team was in danger because of persistent injuries or the rise of some other players in the team.
“Between 2018 and 2020, I contemplated giving up the sport at various points. I thought, ‘I have put in a lot of effort, but it is not coming through.’ The harder I tried, the farther it felt. Especially with athletic pubalgia and the patellar tendonitis – I used to bowl six balls and then I used to be gasping for breath. And there would be pain all over the place.
“So, you needed to make adjustments. When the knee pain got excruciating, the next ball I would probably jump less. When I jumped less, obviously the force needs to be produced through the core and the back and the shoulders, so the pubalgia would act up. So, the third ball I would be extra side-on to try to use the hips. By the time I was done with six balls, I would be like, “I need a break here,” Ashwin said in an interview with The Cricket Thoughts.
With the rise of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, Ashwin wasn’t being backed by the Indian team. The 35-year-old revealed that he needed a shoulder to lean in at that moment but he found none at that time.
“I contemplated retirement for a lot of reasons. I felt like people were not sensitive enough to my injuries. I felt like a lot of people were backed, why not me? I have done no less. I have won a lot of games for the team, and I am not feeling backed. I don’t usually look for help, that somebody needs to back me, that somebody needs to cushion me or give me empathy. I felt I was not being able to be excellent and felt I needed a shoulder to lean on. It was not happening. I thought maybe I should try to find something else and be excellent at that,” he added.
Ashwin also highlighted the fact that after the England series in 2018, he went through a very bad period and the only person who had his back was his wife.
“Just after the England series in 2018, after Southampton, was one phase. Again, in Australia later that year where I tore my abdomen after the Adelaide Test, before and after Sydney. Many stages. The only person I would be talking to was my wife. But my father was hell-bent: you will make a comeback in white-ball cricket, and I will see that before I die. For him it was more personal,” the 35-year-old added.
At this point, Ravichandran Ashwin has become a vital cog for team India specially in the test matches. He has broken a plethora of records in the longest format of the game.
Ravi Ashwin is currently at Johannesburg and is preparing for the three match test series which is scheduled to start from December 26.