'Lost 7-8 kilos in lockdown': R Ashwin reveals secret behind dream run in Test cricket
Ashwin picked up three wickets in the first innings and four in the second to return with a match haul of 7 wickets as India went 2-1 up in the four-match series. Axar Patel was the star of the show for India.
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said he worked really hard on his fitness and lost about 7-8 kilos in the lockdown which has helped him become a better bowler and a cricketer. Ashwin once again played a key role in India’s resounding 10-wicket win inside two days over England in the day-night pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Ashwin picked up three wickets in the first innings and four in the second to return with a match haul of 7 wickets as India went 2-1 up in the four-match series. Axar Patel was the star of the show for India. He picked up his third consecutive five-wicket haul to become the first bowler to claim more than 10 wickets in a day-night Test. Axar ended up with 11 wickets in the match.
Ashwin said he was bowling well in the IPL too. “I think my bowling was coming along beautifully in the IPL too. I lost about 7-8 kgs in the lockdown and everything looked upwards for me,” said Ashwin in the post-match show.
Ashwin became the fourth Indian and the second fastest overall after Muttiah Muralitharan to claim 400 Test wickets.
Crediting Axar for his stunning performance, Ashwin said he was a bit worried when India were bowled out for 145 in the first innings.
“We were worried after getting bowled out for 145, didn't think we didn't have many runs on the board. But we then bowled beautifully on a wicket assisting us. But Axar bowled beautifully in the third innings,” Ashwin added.
Reacting on India’s stunning performances, Ashwin said the last few weeks have been like a dream.
“I can't really get a grip of what has happened in the last 2-3 months. It has been a dreamy run and a fairytale. I don't know if I'm ageing, but it's incredibly hard to watch the game. To come back [after losing the first Test] and win it is even more special,” he said.
Asked whether this is the best he has bowled in Test cricket, Ashwin said he always wants to improve. “In 2015-16 everyone asked me (if I'm bowling at my best), in 2016-17, one thing is sure I've always wanted to improve. I won't be surprised if I improve further in the future,” Ashwin added.