Well, there are very few cricketers who are as loved, despised, criticized or supported as Ravichandran Ashwin. He is perhaps the most talked-about cricketer as well. His performance till now in IPL has been excellent and he rightly deserves the accolades.
He doesn’t like to be in news or cook up stories for his marketing gains nor does he have a fancy PR team. The guy knows everything about cricket and nothing apart from that. Barring a few ads, you don’t see him often; neither in awards ceremonies nor at Bollywood parties. Unlike modern-day cricketers, he dresses in a plain fashion, keeps a very simple hairstyle, and also likes to keep a low profile off the cricket field but with a ball, he is a magician.
A crafty spinner, a mediocre fielder, a decent batsman, with a cricketing IQ comparable to Einstein’s, Ravichandran Ashwin is an enigma. An enigma who gets mysterious, the more you probe. Hailing from India’s Tamil Nadu, and being a late-bloomer, we do wonder what would have been his records, had he started like Harbhajan in his teens.
Champions Trophy Final 2017, was his last ODI before Kohli was bitten by the wrist-spinner bug, and post that R Ashwin and Jadeja were never regulars.
You would often find people pointing out his poor fielding, his poor shot selection, or his use of too many variations, but rarely find anyone complimenting his achievement or his guile. And that’s partly because of his reserved nature and partly due to not being in the good books of captain or coach. Though statistically, he is the best spinner India has produced this decade, his records are the best in the world(In the past decade) and needless to say, he is arguably the best spinner in the world and IPL Season 15 has been a testimony to this.
He has bowled in the powerplay, death overs, and middle overs, there isn’t anything that he cannot do with the ball, whereas with the bat: he can play as a floater, consolidator, or pinch-hitter. Isn’t this ironical, that he wasn’t even considered for selection for the 2019 WC, where India badly missed a spinning all-rounder?
Champions Trophy Final 2017, was his last ODI before Kohli was bitten by the wrist-spinner bug, and post that R Ashwin and Jadeja were never regulars. Jadeja, with his batting superiority, could get back to becoming regular again, but Ashwin was always overlooked in favor of Kuldeep and Chahal.
With 442 red-ball wickets in only 86 tests. Ravichandran Ashwin has been the standout performer across this decade but a spinner whose non-selection became a mystery!
It took Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, to bring Ashwin and Jadeja back to the T20 fold, and the results have been there for everyone to see. R Ashwin gave away just 21 runs in four overs against a very strong Mumbai Indians’ side as well as taking the prized scalp of Rohit Sharma. Besides this, his handly contribution with the bat at the fag end of innings has been really praise-worthy. The way he played proper cricketing shots against Bumrah, last week needs to be mentioned for his sheer cricketing brilliance.
He probably would be the last generation of purist cricketers, and the rare -breeds who play this beautiful game for the sheer love and not for the benefits, do deserve to be in T20 WC final squad. Fans hope, India’s best spinner can bring back 2007 memories again.
Featured Image Credits: Instagram @rashwin99