Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin picked up a seven-wicket haul as South Africa was bundled out for 431 against India on the fourth day of the opening Test in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

Ashwin returned to the Test XI after nearly a year out of the set-up. He found himself out of the team due to niggles after just one Test in Australia and was not included in the playing XI during the two-match Test series against West Indies. Despite having been picked in the squad, India went in with Ravindra Jadeja as their only spinner in the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, Ashwin faced the media after the third day’s play of the ongoing Test, and he came up with a cheeky reply to a tricky question. One of the reporters reminded the offie about his saying that he stopped watching cricket and asked him about the reason for the same. To that, the Tamil Nadu lad first told that he has two kids who don’t sleep well in the night and hence keeps their father on his toes as well.

But then he gave the actual answer. “I felt like…every time I watched the game on TV, I felt like I wanted to play the game, and I was missing out of it. It is very natural, I think. Everybody goes through that. That’s not be all and end all. I generally try to do a few other things in my life as well. Books, a bit of archaeology work, stuff like that,” Ashwin said.

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The off-spinner also admitted that staying away from action was a tough task.

“To stay away from cricket itself was very tough for me. In order to substitute, I played whatever games I got. I tried and made an opportunity for myself to go and play some county cricket (for Nottinghamshire). I tried and played the TNPL as much as I could, played some league cricket in Chennai,” he added.

After claiming his 27th five-wicket haul in Tests, Ashwin showed that he remained India’s go-to spinner in home conditions.