Ravichandran Ashwin has been in superb form with the ball in the past couple of Test series for India. In Australia, he picked 12 wickets – including dismissing Steve Smith thrice – in three Tests; returning home, R Ashwin is the leading wicket-taker in the ongoing series against England having already snared 24 scalps in 3 Tests at 15.71 apiece.
Speaking to the fielding coach, R Sridhar, the off-spinner talked about his preparation before the Australia tour and during the lockdown.
Ashwin, who is known to be a smart and astute cricketer, revealed that he watched 8 hours of footage before the Adelaide Test. During the lockdown, imposed due to the covid-19 for months, Ravichandran Ashwin not only lost 7-8 kilos of weight as he said after the Ahmedabad Test but also watched plenty of videos of matches of the past.
“In Australia, before the start of the Adelaide Test, I watched 8 hours of straight footage. The planning for me goes to a different level actually. I don’t know why I started doing it but it was just that I don’t want to leave any stone unturned.
“I used to watch a lot of footage even before but I guess the understanding of the game has gone one notch higher. During the lockdown period, I was watching a lot of cricket from the past, especially Sachin’s hundred in Chepauk and all sorts of stuff on YouTube continuously,” Ravichandran Ashwin said in a video posted by the BCCI.
Even before I bowled the ball I kind of understood what shot they are going to play: Ravichandran Ashwin
The 34-year-old spinner, who recently became the second-fastest bowler to 400 Test wickets, says that he has become shrewder and picked up the often unnoticed nuances of the game by watching a large chunk of videos during the lockdown.
“And I started picking up fine cues. And it just struck me why I haven’t done this earlier. After that, I started to watch the footage with a different eye and it became fun. I was able to pick what the batsman was doing and even before I bowled the ball I kind of understood what shot they are going to play,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.
With India completing the victory inside two days in the third Test and taking an unassailable lead in the series, the hosts will look to confirm their slot for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand – India needs to avoid a defeat in the fourth Test, otherwise, Australia will go through to the final.