‘Felt like being thrown under the bus’ : R Ashwin opens up on Ravi Shastri’s remark that left him crushed
India’s premier off-spinner Ravi Ashwin has been in the form of his life in the Test format in 2021. The 35-year old has taken 52 wickets this year and managed to break several milestones along the way. He is now an indispensable part of the Indian team. However, things were not the same two years back during India’s Test tour Down Under in 2018-19.
Ashwin revealed he had retirement thoughts when Ravi Shastri termed Kuldeep Yadav as India’s no 1 bowler. Kuldeep solidified his reputation in the Indian Test team when he managed to take a five-fer in Sydney. The youngster’s success in overseas conditions left Shastri mighty impressed. Ashwin said he was happy with his teammate’s success but admitted that his confidence took a blow.
“I hold Ravi bhai in high esteem. We all do. And I understand we all can say things and then retract them. In that moment, though, I felt crushed. Absolutely crushed,” Ashwin said to ESPN Cricinfo.
Ashwin heaped praise on Kuldeep and said he understands how difficult it is to take five wickets in Australia. The off-spinner though said he felt he was being thrown under the bus and it wasn’t the most pleasant feeling he had experienced.
“We all talk about how important it is to enjoy your team-mates’ success. And I was happy for Kuldeep. I have not been able to get a five-for but he has a five-for in Australia.”
“If I have to come and partake in his happiness, and the success of the team, I must feel like I belong there. If I feel like I am being thrown under the bus, how am I supposed to get up and come for a party to enjoy the team’s or team-mate’s success?”
Ashwin has turned a corner after that snub and has now managed to become India’s leading spinner. Meanwhile, Kuldeep has slightly gone below the pecking order.