Indian spinner Ravi Ashwin believes the coronavirus pandemic has helped him rediscover his joy for Test cricket.
So much so, he feels like the Adelaide Test match against Australia is his debut Test rather than his 72nd.
India and Ashwin hadn’t played a Test since February before the Adelaide fixture – and the pause rekindled the offspinner’s love for the game.
“I am so happy that we are playing Test cricket again, it has been a long time,” he said after taking 4-55 against Australia on Friday.
“I didn’t imagine at some stage we will be playing Test cricket because of what is happening.
“For me, I may be extremely mad about the sport … it’s just so refreshing to go out there and have a bowl.
“The feeling was great, pink-ball Test in Adelaide … just amazing to go out there.
“I felt like I was making my debut all over again.”
Ashwin’s four-wicket haul was his best bowling figures in Australia.
And his feat went some way to addressing a glaring anomoly between his performances in India and elsewhere.
The wily tweaker has taken 254 wickets in 43 home Tests and 115 in 29 Tests outside of India.
“Things can get blown out of context,” he said of his reputation as a home-track specialist.
“I put those things on the shelf … and it’s in the (past) as far as I am concerned.
“I really want to ply my trade and I want to have all the fun that I possibly can.”