Reflecting on his massive achievement, Ashwin told bcci.tv in an interview, “I accidentally became a cricketer. I am actually a cricket lover who went on to become a cricketer. I am living my dream here, I never imagined that I will wear the Indian jersey one day and I will play.”
Ashwin is now only the fourth Indian cricketer to have claimed over 400 wickets in Test matches, after Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. However, according to the 34-year-old, he counts himself very lucky to represent India, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The off-spinner added, “And every time I finish playing a game and if I give that winning result for the team, I just feel I am being given a blessing, but the COVID times made me feel how lucky I am to actually play for India.
“Even when I came back after the IPL, I never thought I will play in Australia, so that is what I said, everything has been a gift, for the love with which I play the game, the game is giving me back enough and more laurels,” he further added.
Ashwin further revealed that he used the lockdown to improve his game. The cricketer, who also has five Test hundreds to his name, informed that he watched a lot of old videos of great individual performances when at home and nothing to do.
“I used to watch a lot of footage even before, but the understanding of the game has gone one notch higher…During the lockdown, I was watching a lot of cricket from the past, especially Sachin’s hundred in Chepauk, all sort of stuff on Youtube,” Ashwin revealed.
On the feeling of getting the 400th Test victim, after dismissing Jofra Archer, Ashwin said, “Initial feeling is quite empty to be honest, because we were under immense pressure…For me I was actually in the moment, only after he (Archer) had taken the DRS, I realised the 400th that happened
“…After they flashed 400 Test wickets on the board, the entire stadium was up, everybody was clapping, I don’t know, I cannot put a finger and say how I feel about it, the last three months have been a complete fairy-tale,” he further said.
While Ashwin picked up seven wickets in the Test, home boy Axar Patel grabbed 11 as the Indian spinners ran through the England batting line up to finish the day-night Test in under two days
--By A Cricket Correspondent