'Have found myself in a state of contribution' - Ashwin reflects on sacking for WTC final
Ravichandran Ashwin reminisced being sacked from India's playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final and opened up on direct competition with premier allrounder Ravindra Jadeja for the sole spinner's slot in overseas conditions.
The world's best Test match spinner pressed home his state of mind and how he has learnt to treat such setbacks over time, pointing towards India's 2018-19 overseas tours cycle as a turnaround in his psyche. Back then, Ashwin had faced heavy criticism for his failure to close out Day 5 contests in Centurion and particularly Edgbaston, besides fitness standards for being ruled out with untimely injuries on trips to England and Australia.
For the recent WTC final, however, the premier tweaker found support from fans and experts, who felt India erred tactically in leaving him out on a dry surface at The Oval against an Australian side packed with left-handers. Ashwin's absence was part of a continuing trend of India leaving him out for Tests in England since the previous iteration of the WTC summit clash.
On his comeback for the following Test in Dominica against the West Indies, the modern-day legend reinforced his class and pedigree with a 12-fer in India's dominating three-day triumph, looking in the pink of health with his bowling.
Ashwin reopens on WTC final ouster
Speaking to the Times of India in an interview, Ashwin said he recognised it would be "foolish" for him to contemplate and brood over his axing and takes a pragmatic route on discussing his absence in preference of Jadeja, easily the world's best contemporary Test allrounder, who can bat No.7 and allow India to play five bowlers.
"It is foolish of me to try and think why it happened and how it could have been better. The other way of looking at it is 'how many have played 94 Tests?' I am glad that I have been able to do that," Ashwin said.
"It has so happened in recent times that the two quality spinners are Ravindra Jadeja and me and fortunately or unfortunately, both can bat. Jadeja's batting form has been very good and that is why he has got the nod."
Ashwin says he has learnt to accept selections to such extent he no longer seeks the reasons for them with the selectors and the management, learning and insisting it would only impact his thought process negatively to complain over things beyond his control.
"I can't put a finger and I don't want to try and find out why I got dropped because that is again not in my control…Ever since 2018-19, when I went through a mental and physical switch, I tried not to sit behind negativity. I have found myself in a state of contribution when I am in the dressing room."
"If my ego is too high, I become the biggest white elephant in the dressing-room and I don't want to become that. If I am playing, I am playing to win, if I am not, I cheer for India to win," he added.