India’s leading spinner Ravichandran Ashwin says he is thrilled to return to Galle, a place that has given him happy memories during his team’s last tour to the island. Ashwin took a match bag of ten wickets when India played in Galle two years ago and he finished the series with 21 wickets, an effort that earned him the Player of the Series award.
“To come back to a place where I did really well last time in 2015 is like a dream come true because it was some sort of a momentous occasion for me then because I was on the way back into the Test side and I got a six-for on the first day and went on to get a 10-for on the third day,” Ashwin told journalists in Galle.
The Galle Test that gets underway on Wednesday will be Ashwin’s 50th Test match. “It brings back a lot of good memories, coming back to the same venue. And 50th Test is definitely something that has come about. I am not able to go back and retrace how I did it but I am very grateful to have gotten here. I think every Test match a blessing from here on,” he added.
India won the series 2-1 and one of the turning points was Ashwin constantly troubling Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara. The left-hander only played the first two Test matches of that series and was dismissed four out of four times by Ashwin.
“I think getting Sangakkara here in Sri Lanka especially in the second Test at the Saravanamuthu Stadium is probably the best dismissal I have enjoyed,” Ashwin said.
The 30-year-old needs 25 more wickets to complete 300 Test wickets, a feat achieved by only four other Indians.
“Looking behind, I might have set some targets but I won’t be setting any targets looking ahead. That’s what the past has taught me. You can’t get ahead of yourself, you can’t set milestones, and you can’t set records for yourself in the future. The most important thing is to try and get better every single day because international cricket is very cruel and it can really sort you out if you are sitting back on your past laurels.” Ashwin said.
There’s also quite a bit of responsibility on Ashwin’s shoulders as he is one of the senior players in the side now.
“I think I was a little bit more like a cat on a hot tin roof so to say in 2015. I was looking forward to performing desperately because sometimes, like I have said, my performances need to be that much more better for me to get anywhere in my career, so I’ve always lived that way and it’s kind of changed me over a period of time,” Ashwin added.