‘My hopes are alive’ – Ravi Ashwin feels he’s one of the best spinners in T20s and hopes to return to white-ball cricket soon
"I don't think age is a factor. Imran Tahir is 40. I have the variety and experience. My hopes are alive."
Updated - Oct 24, 2019 12:46 pm
For Tamil Nadu spinner Ravi Ashwin, the recent Test series against South Africa was a welcome turn in his career which was looking stagnant. The off-spinner came back to the Test team after missing the West Indies series and delivered by bagging 15 wickets. It saw him crossing the milestone of 350 Test wickets as the joint-fastest with the legendary offie Muttiah Muralitharan, taking 66 Tests.
Having ensured that he is still not a discard in the longer format, Ashwin now eyes a return in the white-ball formats. He last played an ODI in June 2017 and T20I in July the same year. The 33-year-old is never short of confidence.
“I consider myself one of the best, if not the best spinner in Twenty20 cricket. I had a very good IPL last year. I don’t think age is a factor. Imran Tahir is 40. I have the variety and experience. My hopes are alive,” Ashwin told The Hindu.
“I am just enjoying my bowling. I am like a 10-year-old when I have the ball in my hands. Nothing gives me greater joy. Bowling is like therapy to me. It connects me to my inner self. I am not the same person I was. I am not as intense as before. I just want to bring the joy back,” added the veteran bowler, whose position has come under threat with the rise of a new generation of spinners in Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and the likes of Mayank Markande and Washington Sundar.
Ravi Ashwin repeats his 2015 show against South Africa
Ashwin had finished as India’s most successful bowler the last time they played South Africa at home. In four matches that year, he ended up taking 31 wickets and was adjudged the man of the series. This time, too, he finished as India’s most successful bowler even though the crown of the player of the series went to Rohit Sharma for his magnificent batting show.
Ashwin also rated India’s overall bowling attack as a complete one with both the spinners and pacers rising on the occasion. While the slow bowlers claimed 32 scalps, the faster ones took 26. He said there is a good bunch of pacemen and then the spinners in the Indian side. And with the batsmen scoring big, India’s game is not about one individual.