'MS had just retired, we had to start a journey of our own' - R Ashwin recalls India's turnaround in Tests ahead of WTC final
"We had to start a journey of our own, it’s never easy without the seniors, but I can comfortably say that all the efforts we’ve put in have really come to fruition," Ashwin said.
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The World Test Championship 2023 is just a few weeks away as India and Australia prepare to lock horns in the summit clash from June 7 at The Oval in London. A few of the Indian players such as Virat Kohli, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel have already left for England while captain Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami will leave once their IPL 2023 season ends.
In the build-up to the all-important final, the BCCI shared an old video of the players when India had reached the final of the WTC following New Zealand’s win over Sri Lanka in the first Test. Upon reaching the final, Rohit said that the job is not done yet and the team will try to get the best result possible in the final.
“Yes to be standing here to knowing that we’ve qualified for the finals feels really really great. Boys are really happy about it, because you know all that effort that you put in for last two years. You know, finally has come to the fore. Obviously, the job is not done, we’ve to go out there, you know to get the best result for us in the final,” said Rohit.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin reflected on the team’s growth after MS Dhoni’s retirement in 2014 and how an inexperienced side started on a journey on their own.
“We’ve put in a lot of effort. The turnaround definitely started in 2014-15, MS had just retired and we had all played for a few Tests probably 20-30 Tests pretty early on. We had to start a journey of our own, it’s never easy without the seniors, but I can comfortably say that all the efforts we’ve put in have really come to fruition over the last two cycles of WTC. We’re qualifying second time on the trot,” said Ashwin.
Notably, India finished on the second spot in the WTC points table while Australia finished on top. India’s qualification was dependent on Sri Lanka losing at least one Test in their two-match Test series against New Zealand and Kane Williamson helped India by defeating the Lankan Lions with his splendid hundred. This will also be India’s second appearance in a WTC final after they lost to New Zealand in 2021 in the inaugural edition of the championship.
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