'It was created to work against me' - Ashwin on 'overthinking' tag and captaincy
Ravichandran Ashwin decried the "overthinking" tag attached to him throughout his career for India, insisting it has worked "against me" by acting as a tool used to deny him the leadership badge for the country.
Despite his rich body of work in Test cricket for India and being part of the successful 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy campaigns, the premier off-spinner has never been touted good enough to lead the country.
Considered one of the most intelligent cricketers in the modern-day game, R Ashwin has also been accused of overthinking his game, a characteristic of his that is felt detrimental on the outside to the captaincy job with fans and pundits finding the esteemed cricketer ill-suited to the post.
Speaking about it in his much-talked-about interview with Indian Express in the aftermath of being axed from the playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, R Ashwin said he wouldn't be an overthinker if his career and contribution hadn't been treated with disdain in certain corners and he stood sure of featuring in the team every single time he was available.
Ashwin on being denied captaincy and "overthinking" tag
"A lot of people marketed me and positioned me that I am an overthinker," R Ashwin said, before explaining why the tag has gotten attached to him. "A person who will get 15-20 matches on the go doesn’t have to be mentally overthinking. A person who knows that they will get only two games will be traumatised and will be overthinking because it’s my job. It’s my journey."
One of the finest players India have produced said if there were guiding lights within the set-up reassuring him of his spot, he wasn't thrown out of the side whenever India played abroad and he wasn't brushed aside in the captaincy discussions, why would he be "overthinking" matters?
"So this is what suits me. If somebody is going to tell me, ‘you’re going to play 15 matches, you will be looked after, you will be this, you are responsible for players, you are in the leadership role, I won’t be overthinking. Why would I?"
"It’s unfair to actually say somebody’s an overthinker because that person’s journey is his own. And nobody has a right or business to do that," he added.
Ashwin pressed home, however, he holds no "regrets" for his journey as he has learnt over time not to let the uncontrollables dictate his mental make-up as a Test cricketer with an astonishing 474 wickets and 3,129 runs under his belt.
"It was created to work against me, right? And as I said, there have been statements that people have made all along when leadership question has come my way, there have been people who are been out there telling, my name is not the first name of the sheet when India tour abroad."
"Whether that name is first on the sheet or not is something I can’t control. If I earned it, it’s got to be there and that’s my belief. As I said, I have no complaints, I have no time to sit back and throw punches or regret or anything. I have no regrets about anyone," the legend added.