I am accidental cricketer, says Ashwin as Kohli heaps praise

Ahmedabad, Feb. 27:

Called a modern day legend by his captain Virat Kohli, ace Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin says he is actually an accidental cricketer, who is living a dream with over 400 Test wickets under his belt.

Ashwin reached the milestone in the day-night third Test against England, which ended here on Thursday with India winning by 10 wickets inside two days. Ashwin picked up 7 in the match to take his overall tally to 401.

“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 told bcci.tv in an interview but did not elaborate on the remark.

According to Ashwin, being in the COVID-19 lockdown made him realise just how lucky he was to play for India.

“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 added.

Ashwin, who also became the second fastest bowler to reach the 400 Test wicket-mark after Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, said that he watched a lot of old videos of great individual performances in the lockdown and that helped improve his understanding of the game.

“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,” recalled the 34-year-old Chennai-born player.

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