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5 days taught me a lot: Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin may have capped a wonderful year in 2016 with those ICC awards and the runs and wickets he took, but the off-spinner does not like to forget the year before that when he was cooling his heels in Adelaide, after being dropped from the side.

5 days taught me a lot: Ashwin
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Ravichandran Ashwin with the memento ITW presented him at a function in Chennai

Chennai

In a revealing media interaction, Ashwin recalled how he felt sitting in the dressing room in Adelaide in 2015 when another off spinner Nathan Lyon left India in a spin. “Those five days I sat with nothing to do taught me a lot,” said Ashwin at a function the Indian off-spinner organised to acknowledge the awards he got last year. 

“It started at The Oval in the previous match and I realised I needed a big change in my career,” added Ashwin. He then recounted an incident when he had to take another decision between two professions: engineering and cricket. 

“I realised I was born to play cricket and the engineering days taught me some harsh realities. When I came back and told my mother about this she told me (in Tamil), if you don’t improve, you change. I realised, change and improvement could not make do without each other,” Ashwin said. 

The off-spinner said he wanted to touch the lives (of people) some way or the other and for this he was into several eye and blood donation camps. “Now I want to do the same with the Ashwin Foundation. I want to see many kids progress from the academy. When I started my Gennext academy five years ago, many advised me it was foolish because I had just started my career but I want to see how much of a difference I can make,” said Ashwin. 

The ICC Player of the Year also revealed his upcoming plans for the year and his performance in 2016. “In 2016, I wanted to be the most valuable player in the team, make sure that I was decisive that team wins and that was the only goal I had.” he said. Ashwin said coach Sanjay Bangar helped him in his batting a lot in the nets. 

“He told me to improve my batting and I did it in an unconventional way and Srinivasan also contributed in my academy,” he said. Ashwin did not want to compare Indian captains of different periods in the wake of MS Dhoni’s resignation. 

“He had an illustrious career as captain. When Sourav Ganguly started winning in Australia in the early 2000s it was natural to call him the best captain. Then Dhoni came and it was natural to do the same when he also had similar success stories. Kohli has had a very good year but it will be a herculean task to match the feats of Dhoni,” said Ashwin. 

He knows expectations are going to mount in the wake of his success and if the team does not do well, even small failures would be magnified. “I think I love the game (cricket) more than anyone else in the world and that keeps me going,” he revealed. It is all about the 150 percent madness, the catchline in a presentation that preceded the media briefing.

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