Ashwin reveals when he will retire

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BCCI

R Ashwin : If I get to 618, that will be my last Test match

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SportsCafe Desk

10/21/2017

R Ashwin has claimed that if he even comes within one wicket of breaking Anil Kumble's record of 619 Test wickets, he would call an end to his Test career. The Indian offie was also full of praise for the Sri Lankan veteran Rangana Herath, who recently decimated Pakistan at the age of 39.

While Kumble was not considered to be one of the most watchable spinners in Test cricket, no one can question his effectiveness. The legendary Indian leg-spinner, with 619 Test wickets, is only behind Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Shane Warne (708) on the all-time list of highest Test wicket-takers. Ashwin, who idolized the Kumble while growing up, has claimed 292 wickets so far in his career and at the age of 31 still has a lot of cricket left in him. But the Indian offie stated that if he got to within a wicket of the even equalling Kumble's record, he would hang up his boots.

“I am a big fan of Anil Kumble and he has got 619 wickets. If I get to 618 wickets, I will be very thankful too and, and if I get to 618, that will be my last Test match,” Gulf News quoted Ashwin saying.

“The legacy I want to leave is clearly: be happy with what I am doing and be content with myself and try and be better than what you are today and try and be the best for that particular day. Because what is good enough yesterday is definitely not good enough tomorrow.”

While in Dubai to launch the Gen-Next Academy branch, Ashwin also talked about another one of his heroes who is still going strong - Rangana Herath. The Sri Lankan recently became only the second player from his country and 13th player in history to claim 400 Test wickets. Even at the age of 39, the Sri Lanka offie played a leading role in securing a 2-0 series victory against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

“Rangana Herath is one of my role models. I think he is a fabulous bowler. He just overcomes limitations every single day. Age does wear the body out over a period of time. As far as Herath is concerned, he just keeps proving that he is a champion cricketer and he can use pressure to his good advantage. That is exactly what he did on the final day of the first Test,” Ashwin added.

Ashwin's numbers are staggering particularly if you consider the era in which he started playing cricket. In the 52 Tests he has played so far, the offie has bagged 292 wickets at an average of 25.26. But India's impressive talent producing system has made sure that Ashwin and his spin partner, Ravindra Jadeja, are not a part of the limited-overs setup right now. The duo have been dropped for three consecutive white-ball series, but Ashwin believes that he needs to be ready for when he is called upon.

“I don’t have an answer to that because resting [a player] and making decisions are definitely not something that I can comment on. Because I am not the one that is in charge and I am not the one who is responsible for making these decisions. So very clearly, as far as I am concerned, every day is about being better than what you have been previously. I am definitely focused on developing every single day and becoming a better cricketer because that is the only thing that will last. Tomorrow, if I am given an opportunity, I should be the best I can be and probably even the better than the best that I can be,” Ashwin explained.

The task for bowlers is becoming difficult day by day and most fans are worried that the current rules and conditions that cricket has to offer leans towards the willow than the leather. The numbers are consistent with the theory as Test cricket has seen a steady rise in the number of runs scored in the first innings of Test. From an average of 307.8 runs till 1948, we now see more than 350 runs being scored in the first innings of Test matches. But instead of seeing this as a disadvantage for bowlers, Ashwin believes it is something the modern bowlers have to adapt to.

“Obviously the scores are getting bigger and bigger and obviously the batsmen are getting better and better and you need to be able to adapt and I am definitely up for adapting to the different phases of the game,” he concluded.

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