Ravichandran Ashwin clarified that the cryptic set of tweets he posted on Friday was not aimed at Yuvraj Singh, who also had taken to Twitter to take a sly dig at Ashwin and Axar for being able to bowl on rank turners. Despite the comments, Ashwin claimed that he has immense respect for ‘Yuvi paa’.
Former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh elicited controversy on Thursday by claiming that Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble would have picked 800 and 1000 wickets in Tests had they got the opportunity like Ashwin and Axar to bowl on raging turners, and while many felt that the tweet was of bad taste, a set of cryptic tweets from Ashwin on Friday added to the drama. Ashwin, on Friday, posted a cryptic tweet about ‘outbound marketing’ focused on ‘thoughts’ and ‘ideas’ and people were quick to interpret that his tweets were aimed at Yuvraj.
However, the Tamil Nadu off-spinner came out in the press conference today and rubbished those claims. Ashwin claimed that his tweets were not aimed at anyone and added that he has immense respect for ‘Yuvi paa’.
"The reason behind my tweets was not regarding anyone in particular. When I read Yuvi paa's tweet, I did not get affected, I did not find that tweet trying to tell us something. It just felt like a plain tweet,” Ashwin said in the press conference.
“For me, the state of mind I am in right now, I did not find it wrong. I know Yuvi paa for a long time, I have the utmost respect for him. Some people amongst us tend to buy what people sell, I do not know the reason why certain people try to sell certain things, but it is clear it's just a perception of what happens.”
The controversy, unfortunately, ended up eclipsing the achievement of Ashwin, who on Thursday became the second-fastest bowler in Test history to reach the landmark of 400 wickets. The 34-year-old, in the form he is in, is in line to maybe even finish as India’s highest ever wicket-taker, but the off-spinner asserted that he is solely focused on performance and is least bothered about any landmark that could potentially come his way.
"I stopped thinking about all the landmarks a long time ago. It has been about how I can get better and what more I can offer to the team. I am looking to get better as an individual and cricketer every single day. I am not looking forward to what lies ahead and probably this is the reason why I am really enjoying my game right now. I would like to be in this space,” Ashwin said.
Ashwin was integral to India’s victory Down Under - with both bat and ball - and has once again been the home side’s trump card in the ongoing series versus England. At 34, he is bowling as well has he ever has, and Ashwin acknowledged the same, stating that, in terms of skill awareness, this is currently the best phase of his entire career.
"This is probably one of the best phases in terms of awareness I have about my skill. Sometimes you want to execute something, but you are not there. You are off the mark by certain inches and this makes a lot of difference in the sport. All the things are coming together and I feel blessed that the things are coming together.”