FILE - India's Ravichandran Ashwin throws the ball to a teammate.(AP)
FILE - India's Ravichandran Ashwin throws the ball to a teammate.(AP)

‘I watched footage for eight straight hours’: Here’s how Ashwin’s planning ‘goes to a different level’

  • In due course, Ashwin also became the second-fastest bowler to scalp 400 wickets in Test cricket. He ended scalping 7 wickets in the pink-ball Test which India won comprehensively by 10 wickets.
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:28 AM IST

Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been in impeccable form lately. After a memorable Test series Down Under, he turned more lethal at home against England. His all-round brilliance in Chennai helped India level the series 1-1 while in Ahmedabad, he teamed up with Axar Patel to tear apart the English batting line-up at the world’s largest cricket stadium.

In due course, Ashwin also became the second-fastest bowler to scalp 400 wickets in Test cricket. He ended scalping 7 wickets in the pink-ball Test which India won comprehensively by 10 wickets.

After a series of stellar performances, Ashwin has finally revealed the way he prepares for a particular game. In a one-to-one session with fielding coach R Sridhar, the off-spinner said that he watches a lot of footage before a match to leave no stone unturned with regard to his preparations.

READ | 'Virat Kohli is looking after the groundsmen': Andrew Strauss disagrees with India captain on Ahmedabad pitch

“In Australia, before the Adelaide Test, I watched footage for eight straight hours. Planning for me goes to a different level. I do not know why I started doing it but it's just that I do not want to leave any stone unturned. I used to watch a lot of footage even before but I think the understanding of the game has gone one notch higher,” Ashwin said.

“What happened during the lockdown was that I was watching a lot of cricket from the past, like Sachin's (Tendulkar) hundred at Chepauk and all kinds of stuff on YouTube. And I started picking up fine queues and think why haven't I picked all these things and figured all these things and it just struck me. After that, I started watching footage differently and once I started watching, it became fun because I am able to pick batsmen like what they are doing and even before I bowl the ball, I kind of understand what kind of shot they are going to play,” he added.

During the third Test, Ashwin also became the second-fastest bowler to scalp 400 wickets in the longest format of the game. Reflecting on the same, he said, “Initial feeling? It was quite empty to be honest because we were under immense pressure today. We only got a 30-run lead and the game was in the balance. I was in the moment, and only after we took the DRS, I realised the 400-wicket feat. After they flashed the 400 wickets on the board, the entire stadium was up and everyone was clapping. I cannot put my finger and say (exactly) how I feel.”

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