After a disastrous series against England, most critics wrote off Ravichandran Ashwin. But the fighter in him rose like a phoenix to scalp 29 wickets in four Test matches against Australia.
But now, it will be an altogether different challenge for Ashwin as he gets set to don the Chennai Super Kings jersey in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League.
With less than 10 days to go for the tournament to start, he needs to soon change gears. And being a keen student of the game, the off-spinner himself confesses that it won’t be a bed of roses for him to switch from Test match mode to T20 mode.
"It is difficult to adjust to the different formats. Earlier, it used to be a little easier as I wasn’t a regular in the Indian team and it gave me time to adjust. But it shall be a challenge this time round and I guess I will bank on the momentum that I have gained,” Ashwin said.
After a tiring four-Test series, it is obvious that every player would like to unwind for a couple of days before getting into IPL mode and Ashwin is no different.
"I will probably take a couple of days off and then get back to the grind,” he said.
Despite winning the Man of the Series award against Australia, Ashwin feels it was a complete team effort that helped earn the whitewash.
"I wasn’t looking at personal accolades going into the series. To be honest, we didn’t perform too well as a team against England and I feel their captain Alastair Cook stole the show. But this time I feel we all improved our games a few notches and we took each game session by session.
And the best part was that we didn’t lose too many sessions,” he said.
But Ashwin feels the start to any series is very important and that is where the team’s performance in Chennai was crucial.
"It was an amazing start in the first game in Chennai. While a bowler took 10 wickets, one batsman [Virat Kohli] scored a hundred and another scored a double hundred [Mahendra Singh Dhoni]. It can’t get better. A start like that is a great boost,” the 26-year-old said.
While Ashwin has been superb with the ball in hand, he has failed to live up to the expectations when it comes to his batting.
Considered a very handy lower order bat, he has managed to score just 20 runs in four matches.
But Ashwin isn’t too disappointed as he feels that he got out to good balls.
"It is not that I was concentrating only on my bowling. I give equal importance to my batting. I got like four innings in the series and all the balls that I got out to were good deliveries. I would have been more disappointed if I got off to starts and then failed to capitalise on them,” he said.
Just like batsmen, bowlers too hunt in pairs and Ashwin feels that his new partner Ravindra Jadeja also did a great job in the series.
"He definitely knows what he is doing and he is pretty consistent. He caused a lot of trouble to the front-line Australian batsmen,” Ashwin said.