Not looking at personal milestones, want to get better, says Ashwin

After claiming a six-wicket haul against Sri Lanka on Day 1 of the first Test against Sri Lanka, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, while crediting Bharat Arun and Ravi Shastri with helping him, said that he rediscovered himself after critically analysing his bowling

Galle: Ravichandran Ashwin today said he rediscovered himself after critically analysing his bowling, as he left the Sri Lankans bamboozled with a six-wicket haul, which gave India an upper hand in the first cricket Test here.

"Some credit should go to Ravichandran Ashwin also," India's strike bowler said at the post-day press conference adding, "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 has 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," the Tamil Nadu tweaker added with a touch of pragmatism. 

R AshwinRavichandran Ashwin acknowledges the crowd after taking five Sri Lankan wickets during the first Test match between India and Sri Lanka in Galle, Sri Lanka, on Wednesday. Pic: AP/PTI

He did not hide his pleasure on having taken 6 for 43 in Sri Lanka's meagre first innings score of 183.

"I am very happy to do it on a consecutive basis," said Ashwin, referring to the 5/87 he took in Bangladesh on the  preceding Test tour. 

"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 its perfect. I am looking at it from that perspective."

"Ishant Sharma bowled very well in the morning. After that I started bowling to my strengths and it paid off. Kumar Sangakkara's wicket in the first over surely helps. I wanted to stay composed and relaxed and not be in a hurry," he added.

The 28-year-old pointed out that the Indians will now have to bat long and put runs on the board as the wicket will get slower as the game progresses.

"I am not convinced with the bounce aspect of it. As the game goes on I think the wicket will get really slow. I think it will get harder to get wickets. From that aspect we need to bat really well and put good runs on the board," Ashwin said.

Ashwin also made it clear that he does not want to differentiate between home and foreign conditions. "I am not looking too much into what is foreign and what is local performance. So 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," he added.

He said that speaking to Shastri has been of great help. "Ravi Shastri is a very positive influence on the team. When I was not playing in Australia, he (Shastri) came to me and told me why I was not playing. He gave me a bit of sympathy about why I am not playing. It is not generally something I look for. He has been a very positive influence. He tried to talk to me about things he experienced when he was in Australia. That's where it took off.

"I am someone who likes talking cricket and discussing cricket. Especially with him around he is someone who enjoys the same pattern. When we talk and discuss a lot, new opportunities open up to try a few things and the improvement has already started."

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