Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has opened up on the mounting pressure following his spectacular performances in 2016. The Tamil Nadu all-rounder has also expressed his desire to perform better overseas, especially in challenging conditions like South Africa and England.
Ashwin took 72 wickets in 12 Tests and hit two centuries and four fifties in 2016 to end the year as the No 1 all-rounder in the world and is confident that his performances will only get better.
“Yes, this is one of the best phases of my bowling career. But I wouldn't say this is the best. I think the best times could be lying ahead,” he told the Times of India.
“Expectations are bound to mount every time you do well. After that every time you don't, people's expectations are let down and if the team doesn't do well, it gets magnified that much more.
“That's the challenge. I'm not playing for high rewards, I am playing because I am so much in love with the game...If you are going to challenge me, I'm just going to try and beat it. The day I don't, I'll probably call it quits.
“For me, what's important now is to bowl 30-40 overs in a day. Once upon a time, I used to hear people talking about keeping the process going and not worry about results. I am in that phase now, I started
“In South Africa, I played only one Test (in 2013) and then didn't play the second of the two-Test series. Definitely, I want to do well in South Africa. The conditions will be difficult there and it's important to
Ashwin credited coach Sanjay Bangar for his improved batting.
“Sanjay Bangar (batting coach) has been very influential. He has given very open feedback about how bad I was before or where I was going wrong,” Ashwin said.