By Avinash Kr Atish
Mumbai, June 1 (Ajit Weekly News) Premier Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Wednesday revealed that the special feeling of winning the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar series in Australia hasn’t sunk in yet and he still once in a while gets the dream of playing those historic matches Down Under.
An instant classic, the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy was won 2-1 by the Indian side, which was well short of their main resources due to injuries and other issues. Before a ball had been bowled, India lost pace veteran Ishant Sharma to injury, while opener Rohit Sharma (hamstring) was ruled out of the opening two matches. They were also without captain Virat Kohli for the final three Tests, with the skipper returning home for the birth of his first child.
In the last match of the series, they were playing without Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav.
However, young Indian players showed their character and won the series, which was also declared as the ‘Ultimate Test Series’ by the World cricket governing body (ICC).
“It’s been almost two year now but it hasn’t sunk in yet. It’ll be unfair to say that it will sink in because it’s a very special feeling and every time even now once in a while if I go to sleep at night I get a dream of being in Australia and playing those games. So it is an unreal feeling and unexplainable,” Ashwin told Ajit Weekly News at the trailer launch event of the web series — ‘Bandon Mein Tha Dum’.
The web series sheds light on the trials and tribulations that the Indian cricket team had to navigate ahead of their unforgettable victory against Team Australia at their home ground of Gabba, where they hadn’t lost a Test match for 32 years.
It also shows how the team played extraordinarily high-quality cricket and simultaneously redefined the concept of hard work, perseverance, determination, and commitment, setting the highest standards of sportsmanship while breathing new life into the fading format of Test cricket.
The 35-year old Ashwin also mentioned that most of the India-Australia Test series have been a memorable affair so it’s not easy to sink in those moments.
“I’m sure of a lot of these cricket series, even the one in 2001, I think when Australia came to India and the turnaround happened with VVS Laxman and Rahul and all that. I think even if those series can be made as a documentary, it will be a great memory for all Indian fans, I think. So yeah, it’s still sinking in,” he said.
Asked about the rivalry between the two sides, the veteran off-spinner praised Australia’s competitive nature, adding that Indian side enjoy playing them despite knowing it won’t ever be easy against them.
“Absolutely, even if I’m looking back not only now right, from 2013 onwards, whenever we played Australia, they’ve been a very competitive side. They don’t turn up just like that, you know, expect things to go their way. They put in the effort and even the last series that Austin came to India in 2016-17, they went to Dubai, they were there for a month and practiced on wickets like what you get in India. And, when they came here they beat us in Pune,” he said.
“We played on a turner and they beat us by 333 runs. We got bowled out cheaply and came back into series again. In fact, if there was a documentary Australia could have made one on that. They played really well in that series. At Dharamsala as well, Virat was injured and was not playing that game. So, Australia is a fiercely competitive side and we enjoy playing them and we know it’ll never be easy against them,” he added.
Ashwin, who is also known for his tactical acumen, said that Test cricket always gives something to learn.
“The beauty about Test cricket is that in every game it gives you something to learn from. So a test match is not like a series or a year or something. Every test match is a test of your mental resolve and game and so you need to be able to learn from every game,” he said.
The bowler had dismissed Steve Smith for a rare duck in that historic series.Talking about that dismissal, he said, “I have gotten Smith many times but I feel the planning was much better when I went to Australia. I planned a lot more exclusively for his batting.”
–Ajit Weekly News