India's talented off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin achieved a six-wicket haul on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle on Wednesday. This clearly gave India the upper hand in the Test match. Ashwin analysed his performance and opined that he has been critical of himself, which helped him to achieve the milestone overseas.
"Some credit should go to Ravichandran Ashwin also. Because I have taken stock of my own bowling, being a lot critical of myself, raised a lot of questions and got fruitful answers from both Bharat Arun and Ravi Shastri. That actually enabled me to try and discover myself. I think nothing is a permanent feat in life as you start stagnating. I think you have to keep improving. I am very happy to do it on a consecutive basis. I think it is more about how the game is. I am not looking at my personal milestones. I want to get better. The process is in place and it's perfect. I am looking at it from that perspective," Ashwin told reporters after the stumps on Day 1 at Galle on Wednesday.
Ashwin achieved the best bowling figures by an Indian bowler in Sri Lanka, which is definitely a record to cherish about. But many have raised questions about the conditions, which are similar to the home. Ashwin made it clear that he does not want to compare home and away conditions and at the end of the day, what matters is the performance.
"I am not looking too much into foreign and local performance. I tried to put an end to that kind of feel. I want to move ahead and do better for the team. It's an extraordinary performance to bowl out a team in a day, especially in Sri Lankan conditions, after having lost the toss," Ashwin added.
Ashwin picked up the big wickets of Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathew and Lahiru Thirimanne and three more. He appreciated the efforts of Indian fielders and also said that catches like the one Rohit Sharma took to dismiss Mathews, can win them matches.
"It helps when you can send Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews back with good catches, doesn't it? It was great. These things happen, and you should also have the composure to say they will drop a few and you have to accept that because they are putting in the effort. As far as my fellow cricketers go, I can only see from what effort they put. I don't see anybody lacking in any effort during the practice sessions. They practice as hard as anyone else - say a Michael Clarke or an Ian Bell or someone. That's all you can expect from your fellow teammates. One of these days, they might pull off such catches, and on another day, they might drop a sitter. You should have the composure to say okay, it will happen, and take it in your stride," Ashwin added.