Ahmedabad: Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Saturday said that he wants to leave his own legacy and also revealed that he is going through one of the happiest phases in his career.
Team India on Saturday roared into the final of the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) following an emphatic 3-1 series win over England.
Ashwin finished the four-match series against England with a tally of 32 wickets and he picked up his eighth Man of the Series award. This is the most number of times that an Indian cricketer has been awarded the Man of the Series accolade.
“Harbhajan Singh is a fantastic bowler, he has achieved what he has achieved. I mean, there is a lot that I have learnt from him. This is a no-brainer, I have told this in the past also. I wasn’t even an off-spinner when Bhajji paa started playing for the Indian team. I was a batsman who could bowl a bit. He has been an inspiration because of the 2001 series against Australia. That is a famous series for India,” said Ashwin during a virtual press conference on Saturday.
“I never imagined in 2001 that I would go on to become an off-spinner, never mind, taking these wickets. I am so happy that you are putting me on the same page as him. I had the fortune of playing alongside Bhajju paa when I came into the team, later I was fortunate enough to play with Anil Kumble being the coach. I am trying to leave my own legacy, that’s about it,” he added.
Further elaborating on his growth as a cricketer, Ashwin said: “My growth as a cricketer is a direct synonym to the person that I am. I want to keep on growing every single game, I want to keep evolving and I want to improve. That is something that is second nature to me and that is directly proportional to the kind of cricketer I am. I will continue to do that for the rest of my life, whatever I do in my life, I want to be the best I can be.
“This is one of the series where I was fortunate enough to stay in the moment a lot. It is one of the happiest phases of my career, I am just enjoying it. Bio-bubbles I have also managed to enjoy. I never thought I would be able to spend this much time with every teammate of mine. Sometimes when you are going through situations, for me, to know some of these teammates was not possible for me before this bio-bubble because you are constantly in the phase of trying to get the right result. I am able to cherish the moments now and I am able to know the players I am sharing the space with. It’s basically the joy that is being expressed out there.”
Talking about how the support staff has been empathetic towards players in this bio-bubble environment, Ashwin said: “We had to deal with what was presented to us then and there in Australia. Sometimes, these hotels can be really claustrophobic, you do not get fresh air also and in Australia, there was a situation where you did not have window panes opening as well. For 14 days or 20-25 days to stay without that, it can be quite taxing. Communication was not easy when you are on tours, you go back and forth, waiting for an answer.
“In certain things, it takes two-three days’ time to get an answer. It is not easy, many times the team management has to resolve and look at what’s best for players in arranging simple things, but these things we need to be fighting for in these conditions. Even the smaller things, the team management needs to look after,” he added.