Ravichandran Ashwin was anxious. Just like all of us when the country went into lockdown due to Covid-19. But the thing about champion players is that they use crisis to become better. Ashwin did exactly that. After his superb performance against England in the second Test in Chennai, the 34-year-old told his skipper how that time helped him become a better person and more than that a better cricketer.
Mindset 👊Changed batting approach 👌The backstory to return to his batting form 👍Don’t miss this special chat as man of the moment @ashwinravi99 speaks to #TeamIndia skipper @imVkohli - by @RajalArora. @Paytm #INDvENG
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 16, 2021
“I think the whole pandemic thing… During which we shut off and locked ourselves down, I was thinking about what is going to happen. if you take the game away from me, I am literally lost. Even if I am not playing some formats for the country, I am putting the TV on and watching," he told Kohli during an interview shared by the BCCI on its social media handles.
“And suddenly, I felt like the game was not here, so I was reflecting on things, trying to understand what I can learn from people and what they perceive of me. That perception really made sure I was playing a game that was completely different to who I was."
Ashwin went onto pick nine wickets in the match and also hit a century in the second innings of the game on a pitch which was seemed unplayable to ex-English cricketers. Meanwhile on day 4 at Chepauk the writing was on the wall after England’s hopeless performance with the bat in the first innings. They did not fare much better in the second innings either getting bowled for a paltry 164 handing India a massive 317-run series-levelling victory.
Axar Patel and R Ashwin were the pick of the Indian bowlers and returned with five and three wickets each to rout the visitors in just under 55 overs shortly after Lunch on Day 4. England registered two of their seven lowest team totals in India in this match - 134 and 164 - an indicator of their poor batting display as much as the excellent bowling by the Indian spinners on a helpful Chepauk wicket.