Southampton [UK], June 20 (ANI): Indian spin spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin reflects on what cricket and excellence mean to him on the sidelines of the World Test Championship Final at Ageas Bowl, saying he does not enjoy controversy but he enjoys a fight.
"I believe in what I do or at least I believe in doing things that I feel is right. It's not like I enjoy controversy but I enjoy a fight and that's pretty much who I am here, it sums it up," R. Ashwin said in a video posted by ICC on Twitter.
Ashwin has always been regarded as a player who has pushed boundaries of sport for his contemporaries and for himself from time to time. Off-spinner firmly believes this is because of his attitude of not settling for anything but excellence.
"The beauty of Test cricket is you are always aspiring to be perfect but you can settle for excellence and that's pretty much what I think I do," said Ashwin.
"I think in a way whatever I have achieved in my career so far is because of that attitude to not settle for anything, constantly looking to improve and I have maintained this. If I don't like different things or if I lose the passion to do something new or get satisfied then I might not play the sport anymore."
By his own admission, Ashwin doesn't like to talk much about his own performances and he definitely doesn't play the sport to please anyone.
"I don't really read or dwell too much on my performances to be very honest and if I had to like please people and satisfy people and get them to talk to things about me, I would just be spending my lifetime doing that and it's not possible you can't make everyone happy and that's not something I live for at all," he said.
"To be brutally honest, I just hate the fact that I am who I am because of what I do. In India, you get a lot of adulation, and I'm just another normal person who finds peace and happiness playing the sport. It's just is absolutely wonderful that I can play my trade and feed my family with it and I get paid so well. This is a sport that gives meaning for me to live so I am too excited about it. I don't have time for people rating me or not rating me, It's just another person's opinion, and that's brutally how I live my life."
The 34-year-old from Chennai has bagged 409 Test wickets so far and that has not come by chance, believes Jasprit Bumrah who considers Ashwin as one of the greats of the game.
"I think he is one of the greats of the game because if you look at his records, it speaks of itself. He has done well with the bat as well as with the ball. He has picked more than 400 test wickets and that doesn't come by chance," Bumrah said.
India bowling coach Bharat Arun also lauded Ashwin's work ethic and dedication to learn new things daily.
"Ashwin is not very happy with whatever he does, he always loves to come out of his comfort zone, learn new things, and develop different angles, and that's what makes him so special. He understands his bowling, most often what bowlers actually do and what they think they are doing are two different things and so Ashwin understands the bowling to bridge this gap. So once this is bridged he has a bigger chance to innovate and that makes him very special," Bharat said. (ANI)