In a society full of self-centered people, someone like Rohit Sharma is rare – Ashwin

In the second Test in Vizag against England, R Ashwin was expecting to grab his 500th Test wicket, but it did not transpire. He was forced to wait until Day 2 of the Rajkot Test, as India had amassed over 132 overs in their first two days of play. Following a solid opening batting performance by England, Ben Duckett produced a brilliant counterattacking knock. Then, in the fourteenth over, Zak Crawley attempted a sweep and earned a top edge.

Ashwin posted a description of the historic delivery on his YouTube channel, saying, “The 500th wicket was cherished and I displayed the ball, but I can’t say it was an outstanding ball.”

However, the experienced offspinner revealed that the events that followed the second day’s play, when he had to quickly return home due to a family issue before joining the squad on Day 4, were an emotional roller coaster.

“I was told much earlier that following my milestone, I had to do an interview with JioCinema, the official broadcaster. They had my father on taped video, which they showed while we were conversing. My mother talked after my father, but I was unable to hear her well. I conducted the news conference after that. With England at 200/2 (207), the match was in a dangerous place and Ben Duckett was taking chances at will. Though the ball pitched centimetres outside leg stump, I felt I had him out. I was resolved to work hard the following day. I seem to recall stating that the game was in the balance during the news conference.

“I then proceeded to the dressing room, where the customary debrief took place. Rohit and I talked about the game for a while before I headed to my room. I was curious as to why neither my wife nor my parents called. I assumed they would be preoccupied with conducting interviews and responding to wishes from others while they were doing so. When I contacted her at approximately seven o’clock at night, she begged me to come talk to her separately since her voice didn’t sound very well. She informed me that my mum had passed out with a terrible headache.

“I was at a loss for words. I was unsure of how to respond. I went to my room and spent some time crying. She must have contacted my team physiotherapist to see how I was doing because I didn’t answer the phone. After presumably getting word, Rahu and Rohit Dravid arrived in the room. I had no idea what to do. “The game is in balance, and I am one of the eleven.” Thousands of ideas raced through my head, “The team will become 10 if I leave, they (England) had a slight upper hand, they had given a good fight.” Simultaneously, I was contemplating the last time I had spoken to my mother. I was almost certain that I would go.

“I started looking for flights after all of that, but I was unable to find any. “Don’t think about anything, leave right away. I’ll try to arrange a charter flight for you,” Rohit instructed me. Much obliged to Cheteshwar Pujara. He managed to secure a flight from Ahmedabad and had it chartered; I’m not sure how the two hours of the journey passed. Next, Rohit requested physiotherapist Kamlesh to accompany me on our way out. Since the squad only had two physiotherapists, I requested that Kamlesh remain behind. Kamlesh and the guards were waiting to take me as I got down. “Stay with Ashwin, comfort him, take care of him,” is what Rohit advises Kamlesh over the phone.

“It was nine thirty. I was astounded. In the event that the player experienced something similar, even as the captain, I would have asked them to leave. But asking someone to go with him and finding out more about him—that’s incredible. I think Rohit is an amazing leader. I’ve played with a lot of captains over the years, so I can’t really say this, but there is something special about Rohit. He is tied with MS Dhoni in the most of IPL titles he has won because to his pleasant nature. I pray that God grants him something significant since He won’t give things like this lightly. Finding someone who cares about other people, comprehends their problems, and attends to them—such a person is uncommon in today’s self-centered society.

“My admiration for him increased.I already hold him in high regard. He will support a player if he thinks highly of them. It’s not a simple task. Dhoni even engages in that. However, Rohit has made ten more steps. A player may even sacrifice his life on the pitch when it becomes this personal’, Ashwin said, thanking Rohit for all of his assistance.

“After that, I visited my mother at home. She was waking up and falling asleep. ‘Did you leave the match?’ she inquired at three in the morning. She orders me to go right away the following day. I can’t even begin to list the number of events that transpired leading up to the match. But without a question, they are all wonderful individuals, and the team’s support was excellent.

“The doctor informed me that she was exhibiting improved indicators the next day. When I saw her again, she advised me to go right away because there were only ten people on the pitch. I can’t even come close to becoming half of what my mother and father have been when I consider the stark differences between my generation and their parents’ generation. They have devoted their entire life to seeing their kids succeed,” Ashwin remarked.

Ashwin notified the BCCI of his decision to re-join the team. “It takes till the night to go to Rajkot if I leave Chennai during the day. Jay Shah, the secretary of the BCCI, phoned me right away. He instructed me to simply be at the airport at 7 AM and claimed he would organise the trip. I landed by twelve, warmed up with Kamlesh’s assistance, and then I stepped onto the pitch. It’s difficult to land and start playing right away. My legs ached. Up until the final game, there remained that mental exhaustion.

“Observe life’s ups and downs. I collected 500 wickets, but I received this news before I had a chance to think about it or rejoice. You put everything else aside when it comes to my mother. In the video where he summarised the first four Tests, Ashwin remarked, “I experienced the high and low within hours of travelling from city to city.”

In the Rajkot Test’s second innings, Ashwin took Hartley’s wicket. In the Ranchi Test, he went on to take five wickets in the second innings, helping India to an unbeatable 3-1 lead. In the Dharamsala Test, he added four wickets in the fourth and fifth innings, helping India end with a 4-1 advantage.

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