Ravichandran Ashwin Recalls MS Dhoni’s Words That Helped Him Never “Fear Failure”


India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin recalled legendary captain MS Dhoni’s words and explained how he tackled injuries and never “feared failure”. Ashwin was talking about the tough phase in his career a couple of years ago when injuries had started to take a toll on his body and kept him away from action for quite some time. “It had become a psychological thing. I have never feared failure in my life. So, to go out there on the ground and fail in terms of performance, it’s fine. Like MS Dhoni always said, it is processes versus result. I believe I certainly have cracked the process. And I don’t fear failing in front of millions or billions of people. It means nothing. At least I have got the [opportunity] to go out there and succeed or fail, which most people don’t get,” Ashwin told ESPNCricinfo’s ‘The Cricket Monthly’.

Ashwin had been out of the Indian side for about 10 months in 2019 due to injuries and team combination. After the Sydney Test in Australia in December 2018, Ashwin next featured in an international game in October 2019 against South Africa at home.

The off-spinner narrated how “athletic pubalgia” had started giving him “paranoia” during that period.

“I was very nervous for about eight months, ten months. Every match I played. Athletic pubalgia is something that you feel all the time, like, there is some feeling around the abdomen, around the adductor or something. So even if it was like a nerve moved here or there or some stiffness, I’d feel like, ‘Has it gone? Should I protect it before it’s gone? Should I strap it?’ That sort of paranoia,” he said.

Ashwin, who is closing in on Kapil Dev to become India’s second highest wicket-taker in Tests, said coping with the mental trauma was far more difficult than the physical injury.


“I think my self-awareness is very high. And I think a lot. So, it was even harder for me. If you get injured, and you’re coming back, it’ll still be in your head. But if you get injured and go through the kind of mental trauma I had to go through, it is even more difficult. And I think I’m extremely well placed for the experience. I’m very well placed to face the adversities of life, for which I’m grateful,” Ashwin added.

The off-spinner will be aiming to make a big impact in the three-match Test series in South Africa, which starts with the Boxing Day Test in Centurion on Sunday.

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