It’s no secret that Ravichandran Ashwin and MS Dhoni share a great bond. The India off-spinner recently recalled his former captain’s words and explained how they helped him tackle the lows of his career. The bowling all-rounder spoke about a difficult phase in his career a few years ago when injuries had started to impact his body.
This had kept him out of action for a long time as well. He said that alongside injuries, he had to deal with a lot of psychological pressure. However, the 35-year-old went on to say that he never “feared failure” and took inspiration from MS Dhoni’s words.
“It had become a psychological thing. I have never feared failure in my life. So, to go out there on the ground and fail in terms of performance, it’s fine. Like MS Dhoni always said, it is processes versus result. I believe I certainly have cracked the process. And I don’t fear failing in front of millions or billions of people. It means nothing. At least I have got the [opportunity] to go out there and succeed or fail, which most people don’t get,” Ashwin told ESPNCricinfo’s ‘The Cricket Monthly’.
Post the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2018-2019, where he featured in just one match, he was out of the Indian side for almost ten months due to injuries and team combination. The Tamil Nadu spinner was not seen in the Indian jersey until October 2019, when he played the home series against South Africa. He described the physical and mental challenges he faced during the phase and gave a brief description of the “paranoia” he use to feel back then.
“I was very nervous for about eight months, ten months. Every match I played. Athletic pubalgia is something that you feel all the time, like, there is some feeling around the abdomen, around the adductor or something. So even if it was like a nerve moved here or there or some stiffness, I’d feel like, ‘Has it gone? Should I protect it before it’s gone? Should I strap it?’ That sort of paranoia,” he said.