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How Anil Kumble quashed Ravichandran Ashwin's notion about 'celebrities'

India Today logo India Today 16-07-2016
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Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin used to believe all the hype around celebrities go down the drain once he interacted with them in close quarters. However, newly-appointed India coach Anil Kumble has quashed his notions. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner is in awe of his master and the way he has managed the Indian unit so far.

"There is a saying that when you get too close to celebrities, you get disappointed. It is something that some people have told me and I have also personally gone into it. But with respect to Anil bhai, whatever I thought and whatever I measured from a distance has come true," Ashwin told

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Kumble, despite not having the ability to turn the ball much, focussed on line and length to produce results. The hard-working Karnataka bowler reaped rewards and went on to become India's most successful bowler in Tests and one-day internationals.

Ashwin has seen coach Kumble bringing in all his skills and experience to help his wards on the field.

"It is the same man, same kind of dripline, intensity. Everything has been fabulous. He has brought in a lot of energy. He has brought in meticulousness among the group. There is a lot of planning when he is around. He has brought in very good dripline in the nets where batsmen get out of the nets at a perfect time for a start.

"These are nice things that I expected Anil bhai would bring in and that is exactly what he has done."

Watch: 'Patience key to success'

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Ashwin, who suffered an injury during Team India's preparatory camp in Bengaluru earlier this month, has recovered in time and is doing what he knows best. After warming the benches in the first tour game against West Indies Cricket Board President's XI, the off-spinner decimated the opposition in the first innings of the ongoing three-day tour game. He has already dealt the first blow in the second innings with an early wicket minutes before the close of play on Day 2.

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The No. 2-ranked Test bowler says he is prepared to be patient and keep looking for wickets in the longest format of the game.

"I am sure, I will have to be prepared for the long haul and try and be as boring as possible in terms of trying to plug away all day long. Once the results come, they will come faster. That is what I observed from the last game," he said.


Ashwin had a dream year in 2015, in which he finished as the highest-wicket taker in Tests with 62 scalps from 9 Tests at an impressive average of 17.20. In West Indies, the off-spinner is expected to lead the pack and help his team take 20 West Indies wickets in every Test.

Ashwin says he doesn't feel pressure being the leader of the unit but feels motivated to give his best.

"I think whatever it is, being the leader of the pack is something that I take pride in. The team is going to look forward to you to try and deliver the breakthroughs and get the vital wickets required.

"The challenge that comes with it is pressure. As I have always mentioned and maintained that pressure is something I play for, and it is one thing that keeps you going and I enjoy it," he said.

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