"Should've Never Become A Bowler": R Ashwin On 'Regret' He Would Have Post Retirement
Ravichandran Ashwin, who has shown his ability with the bat time and again, said that he would regret becoming a bowler when he calls time on his career.
One of the sharpest minds in the game and the world's no. 1 Test bowler at the moment, yet Ravichandran Ashwin finds it tough to break into the Indian team when it comes to overseas assignments. After Ashwin was left out of India's playing XI for the World Test Championship final against Australia in London, he received support from some former cricketers, including Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar, in fact, said that the 'horses for courses' philosophy is only applicable on bowlers.
Ashwin, admitting to Gavaskar's take to a large extent, said that he should've gone on to become a batter, and not a bowler. In a chat with the Indian Express, the veteran off-spinner shared some interesting tales from his young days when Sachin Tendulkar used to play for India.
"This is a true story and I don't talk from something made up. One day, I was seeing the India-Sri Lanka game and India's bowling was in tatters. My favourite was Sachin Tendulkar, and whatever runs he used to make we used to leak those runs with the ball. I used to think one day, I must be a bowler. Can't I be better than the bowlers that are there currently? This is a very childish way to think but that is how I thought and that is why I started bowling off-spin. This is where it began," Ashwin said.
But, Ashwin's mindset has changed now. The Tamil Nadu-born cricketer said that the first regret he will have when he retires is that he could've become a batter but chose to take up bowling.
"However, tomorrow when I hang up my boots, the first thing I will regret is having been such a fine batter, I should have never become a bowler.
This perception I have constantly tried to fight, but there are different yardsticks for bowlers and batters. And there are different ways of treatment. I understand for the batter it is a one-ball game and they require the opportunity," said that senior spinner.
Ashwin even revealed that he had such a conversation with a 'stalwart' of the game once.
"I had this conversation with a stalwart of the game who once said it is because you can see a bowler struggling in a Test match for over 40 overs. But my argument is you are seeing a batsman struggle in the match and nets and the requirement of a batter doesn't change. It is still a one-ball game. I'm not saying the batter shouldn't play. He should play and similarly, the bowler must also play. They should be treated equally because I think at the end of the day, you're earning your stripes and I definitely believed through the ups and downs of my career, I have kept turning in and earned my stripes.
"Some people will get 10 matches, some people will get 15, some people will get 20. The day I wore the Indian colours I knew I'll get only two. So I was prepared for it. It's not that it is some unfair treatment meted upon me. The only reason for my improvement or where I stand in how I play my cricket right now is that I have accepted that I will get only two test matches.
"I don't want to go back home and say boss, 'he got 15 and I got two'. I don't want to do that because all I can control is who I am and what I can do," Ashwin said, as he poured his heart out.