R. Ashwin who had to sit out for the major part of the Australia Test series due to a left-side abdominal strain is “almost back to 100 per cent fit” as he took part in the TNCA first division league representing Mylapore Recreation Club.
The off-spinner had played an instrumental role in India’s victory in the opening Test at Adelaide, but he missed the remaining Tests due to the injury.
Ashwin said it was quite frustrating, but he had to put it past and move forward. “It’s quite unfortunate that when I have been bowling really well in overseas tours, I had to sustain injuries back to back. Injuries hadn’t missed anybody. It hasn’t missed Sachin Tendulkar and neither did it miss Don Bradman. And it’s not that it will miss anybody in the future. Injury isn’t anything, which you can hold against a particular player. I haven’t left any stone unturned,” he said.
On his fitness: In the last match (TNCA league), I bowled almost 35-40 overs. But, I would like to keep going through this journey. I have not played games back to back for a while. So it will be critical for me to go through the grind. Now that I am playing in only one format, it is important for me to get some game time and also train. If I get injured, I have to deal with it in a certain way. I have to try and get the best know-how and get on with my life. Whenever I had undergone a fitness test or Yo-Yo test, I have always been at the top of the list. My body probably doesn’t listen to me (when asked why he gets injured often). It probably doesn’t have a voice that it can communicate with! As much as possible, I want to put lesser load on my body. It’s not easy. An abductor injury and abdomen tear isn’t easy. A lot of people are painting in the dark.
On India-Australia Test series: The series was good. The way we bounced back in Sydney and Melbourne was fantastic. A lot of credit needs to go to Pujara because he dead-batted them throughout the series and took the wind out of their bowling attack. Once we got some runs, the inexperienced batting line-up of Australia was always going to struggle. It’s very important for the top order batsmen to stick and grind it out. That’s exactly what Pujara did because it wasn’t that easy. He kept on staying disciplined through hours together to get those runs. In the past, it’s been said that he is playing at a slower strike rate, etc and to go out of the team and actually come back and do what he does best and keep his mental focus was actually fabulous. I am very happy for him....