This could be my last World Cup, admits Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin could potentially play for India in colours for the last time at World Cup 2023|
ESPN Cricinfo/ Getty
Ravichandran Ashwin, having recently turned 37, spoke of his surprise at being included in India’s World Cup squad as a last-minute replacement. The off-spinner further revealed his mindset heading into the tournament and its importance to him personally in the twilight of his career.
India added large amounts of experience to their World Cup unit on Wednesday by replacing left-arm spinner Axar Patel with Ravichandran Ashwin on the deadline day for squad announcement, after the former suffered a quadricep injury in the Asia Cup. Ashwin, who had not featured in an ODI for 18 months until September, was given two audition games in the three-match series against Australia before being given the final nod.
The veteran was in contention alongside Washington Sundar but managed to clinch his spot with four wickets in two games, including impressive figures of 3/41 in the second ODI.
“I would have said that you were joking. Life is full of surprises. Honestly did not think I would be here. Circumstances have made sure I am here today, the team management have shown trust,” Ashwin was quoted saying by ESPN Cricinfo ahead of the warm-up game against England in Guwahati on Saturday.
The 37-year-old is expected to add much-needed variety to India’s spin attack with his off-spin, which also includes slow left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja and left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Ashwin, who has garnered a reputation for his multitude of variations including the renowned carrom-ball, admitted the mental aspect of the game would hold the key for his performance.
“All you can do is turn the ball both ways, and I think I can do it. Dealing with pressure is paramount in these tournaments and it will dictate how the tournament goes,” Ashwin stated.
Ashwin has played in 115 ODIs for India, scalping 155 wickets, and was a part of the squad that won the World Cup in 2011. With the upcoming marquee event possibly his last chance to represent the Men in Blue in white-ball cricket, Ashwin stressed upon the importance of remaining positive.
“Being in a good space, enjoying this tournament will keep me in good stead. This could be my last World Cup for India, so enjoying the tournament is of utmost importance,” he concluded on the matter.
Indi will play their final warm-up game against Netherlands in Thiruvananthapuram on October 3 before heading to Chennai for the World Cup opener against Australia on October 8.