The Hindu (Mumbai)

‘I think Test cricket is what life is, it will teach you to adapt’

- Press Trust of India

Ashwin’s wife and daughters were in attendance as he received a cap to mark his 100th Test.

“Test cricket is the closest synergy that you can find to life.”

R. Ashwin’s voice trembled with emotion and pride during the gratitudes­peech after receiving his special 100th Test cap from India head coach Rahul Dravid here on Thursday.

Ashwin did not restrict that landmark moment — which came during the fifth and final Test against England — to himself, but he championed the cause of Test cricket amidst moneyspinn­ing T20 leagues.

“IPL has been a hugely popular tournament; a lot of kids want to play T20 and get into the IPL. I really do wish that they get there. But remember one thing, this format (Test)… it is in a lot of things that life wouldn’t teach you,” Ashwin said.

“I think Test cricket is what life is. It is the closest synergy that you can find to life. It will teach you to adapt, dealing with pressures.”

The 37yearold Ashwin, who made his Test debut in 2011, also paid tribute to his father — Ravichandr­an — for believing in him and supporting his journey.

“It’s quite an emotional moment. Not just not just for me. But today is a hugely emotional moment for a man who is sitting back in

Chennai. Unfortunat­ely, he couldn’t make it here,” Ashwin began before making a quick recollecti­on of early days.

“The first day (as a kid), I still remember it very clearly, I would put my kit in front of the petrol tank, and then he would put me on the bike and take me to the coaching camp.

“A government employee (his dad) wanted to take his son all the way miles ahead in life, somewhere he imagined I would ever get. He got me here because of the help of my mom and, of course, my granddad,” he added.

His wife Preeti has been a big pillar of support for him in periods of struggles. “My wife didn’t know what she was getting into. She’s gotten into it and she’s standing next to me today. I have got two lovely kids who are also enjoying my journey over the last few years,” Ashwin said.

After handing Ashwin the cap, Dravid said it was a welldeserv­ed moment for the Tamil Nadu cricketer.

“You have given everything faithfully to the team and today is your 100th Test. It was a journey that started from the streets of Chennai. It’s been a long and eventful journey. It wouldn’t have been possible without your family. Congratula­tions to them as well.”

 ?? R.V. MOORTHY ??

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