A couple of bad outings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) made the premier Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to realize that bowling in T20s was not as easy and the reality smacked him like a “hard slap” a decade back. During a podcast with cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar for ESPNCricinfo, Ashwin spoke about how the 2010 IPL with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) changed him and several other things.
Recalling the 2010 IPL, Ashwin said, “People thought that I think highly of myself but the flattening of the curve happened when I played in the IPL. It was like a slap in the face like ‘listen boss you are not even here’. I thought bowling in a T20 game was much easier than bowling in a first-class game.”
Ashwin also talked about the time when RCB players, Robin Uthappa and Mark Boucher took him to the cleaners.
The veteran spinner said, “Robin Uthappa and Mark Boucher taught me harsh lessons as I bowled 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th over at RCB. I found it as an opportunity to pick wickets. I didn’t get wickets but went for 40 or 45 runs and put my team into a hole as the next game went into Super Over and we lost it and I was dropped from the squad. It felt like a hard slap.”
He also acknowledged having issues with Fleming who, he thought, had let him down.
Ashwin revealed, “Actually, I had an issue with Stephen Fleming that he didn’t have a chat. I valued him so much and he didn’t have a chat. So I was sitting at home watching CSK games and making promises in my head that one day I will turn the tide.”
The 33-year-old Ashwin has picked 365 wickets from 71 Tests, but his performance in SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia) hasn’t matched the lofty standards that he has set at home. He said to attain the fitness level of Ravindra Jadeja, he needs to work two months prior to a series.
Ashwin explained, “…that’s why I need to think more while having a field and taking accountability for it. Jaddu doesn’t even need to think as he will able to land 30 overs on spot because of his physical fitness.”