After a loss in the first two games of the league stage, Australia went on to win eight consecutive games to reach the finals against India, which they won by six wickets, thanks to Travis Head's masterclass inning of 137 runs.
After his skipper Virat Kohli called him a modern-day legend, Indian spin stalwart Ravichandran Ashwin has said that became cricketer by an accident and was now living his dream.
During the third Test against England, Ashwin reached the milestone of 400 wickets in the longest format. In the match which ended at the Motera Stadium on Thursday, the off-spinner took 7 wickets in the match to take his overall tally to 401.
“I accidentally became a cricketer. I am actually a cricket lover who went on to become a cricketer. I am living my dream here, I never imagined that I will wear the Indian jersey one day and I will play,” Ashwin told bcci.tv in an interview but did not elaborate on the remark.
According to Ashwin, being in the COVID-19 lockdown made him realise just how lucky he was to play for India.
“And every time I finish playing a game and if I give that winning result for the team, I just feel I am being given a blessing, but the COVID times made me feel how lucky I am to actually play for India.
“Even when I came back after the IPL, I never thought I will play in Australia, so that is what I said, everything has been a gift, for the love with which I play the game, the game is giving me back enough and more laurels,” he added.
Ashwin, who also became the second-fastest bowler to reach the 400 Test wicket-mark after Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, said that he watched a lot of old videos of great individual performances in the lock-down helped improve his understanding of the game.
“I used to watch a lot of footage even before, but the understanding of the game has gone one notch higher…during the lockdown, I was watching a lot of cricket from the past, especially Sachin’s hundred in Chepauk, all sort of stuff on YouTube,” recalled the 34-year-old Chennai-born player.
Jofra Archer became Ashwin’s 400th wicket during the second day of the third Test here, which India won by 10 wickets and he said it was only when the batsman had opted for DRS, he realised that he had reached the landmark.
“Initial feeling is quite empty to be honest, because we were under immense pressure…for me I was actually in the moment, only after he (Archer) had taken the DRS, I realised the 400th that happened,” he said.
“…after they flashed 400 Test wickets on the board, the entire stadium was up, everybody was clapping, I don’t know, I cannot put a finger and say how I feel about it, the last three months have been a complete fairy-tale,” he added.