Galle: Returning to Galle after three years, Ravichandran Ashwin believes life has come a full circle for the Indian cricket team since their last tour of Sri Lanka in 2015.
Virat Kohli-led side lost the Galle Test then but bounced back to win the series 2-1. However, the first of the three Tests will be another feat for the bowling all-rounder as he will be playing his 50th Test match.
As the 30-year old prepares for his 50th cap, he said, “To come back to a place where I did really well last time in 2015 is like a dream come true, because it was some sort of a momentous occasion for me then because I was on the way back into the Test side,” he said.
“I’m a lot calmer from what I was then. I think I was a little bit more like a cat on a hot tin roof, so to say. I was looking forward to performing desperately because sometimes, my performances need to be that much more better for me to get anywhere in my career. I’ve always lived that way and it’s kind of changed me over a period of time. It’s important to learn from that and try and get better. I think I’ve become a far better cricketer than what I was when I came here in 2015.”
Ever since making his debut against West Indies in 2011, Ashwin has scored 1,903 runs and bagged 275 wickets in 49 Tests. He has scored four centuries and picked 25 five-wicket hauls. The right-handed batsman, who has been one of India’s key players in their recent success in the Whites, feels that even good cricketers lose out in this particular team because of the quality they have in the dressing room.
“In 2015 I think we were sandwiched in the middle of a leadership takeover. Virat had just taken over in Australia and we came here having played one Test in Bangladesh. We had set ourselves a lot of goals for each other and I would say we have achieved them and come out with flying colours over the last couple of years as a group,” he said.
Ashwin became the fastest bowler to 250 Test wickets in a one-off match against Bangladesh in Hyderabad in February, his 45th Test.
“We have produced a lot of good cricketers. Some young cricketers have come in and put their hands up and some others have excelled really. That includes me, (Ravindra) Jadeja, ‘Puji’ (Cheteshwar Pujara). Sometimes I feel that even good cricketers lose out in this particular team because of the quality we have in the dressing room,” he concluded.