His father wanted him to become a fast bowler. His mother wanted to see the Indian Test cap on his head.
The child however aspired to be a footballer and it was never a case of parents thrusting their own anxieties and ambitions onto the child. And then one day in the summer of 1997, a peculiar and equally hilarious incident brought his football career to a hasty conclusion.
He did not sustain any severe injury nor did he get into a spat with any of his classmates while playing an inter-class football game. For the first 88 minutes, he did not make any effort to dribble the ball. He would either head, chest or knee it. The scores were level at 1-1 at that point. In the 89th minute, his side won a penalty and his teammates backed him to thump in one of his trademark cannonballs. On any other day, the boy would have accomplished the task clinically.
He did hit the ball but the manner in which he did that was comical. He ran up, dived to the ground, hit the ball with his head and it meekly dribbled into the hands of the goalkeeper. 1-1 was the final score-line of the game.
Even though the match was planned weeks ago, the boy forgot all about it. He thus wore his brand new pair of black leather shoes to class instead of wearing his tough spikes.
The boy has grown up today- both literally and allegorically. He takes to the lush green field every now on then but with a ball in his hand. Ravichandran Ashwin has convinced millions of Indians about the fact that he is capable enough to carry forward India’s rich legacy of spin bowling, which is gradually turning into a dying art. He is your serious and most outspoken person on the face of the cricketing world, who doesn’t hesitate to call a spade a spade and pass comments like ‘’If patient people had to be good cricketers, then only yogis could have been good cricketers’’.
Today, when it has taken the shape of a herculean task to spot a quality off-spinner who bowls with equal proficiency across all 3 formats of the game, Ashwin stands out.
Cricfit brings forth 5 reasons that explain why the R Ashwin off-spinner from Chennai can be called the best off-spinner in the world today:-