R Ashwin April 4, 2012

'I know more about offspin than Sachin'

The India and Chennai bowler on the one thing he can beat Tendulkar at, and being a bit of a cricket nerd

Tell us something we don't know about you?
I am a very sensitive person, especially when it comes to heart-to-heart conversations. I am straightforward and I expect the same from people.

We have asked your team-mates and some think you are a better engineer than a cricketer.
(Laughs) I don't know if I would have made a better engineer than a cricketer. I definitely think I am a much better cricketer.

They say you're a cricket nerd.
I won't say if nerd is the right term, but I'm a big, big cricket fanatic. I just cannot stop thinking, talking cricket. I do carry notebooks and make notes to look at improving and developing my own game. Being the only kid in the family, I grew up talking cricket with my parents. But that has comparatively reduced over a period of time. I have made my dad understand that we shouldn't be talking cricket at home.

The one thing a Tam Brahmin cannot live without?
Thairsaadam (curd rice). I am not usually fussy about food but sometimes on overseas tours if I get bored I take a cooker and some rice and enjoy some curd rice.

What is one Olympic sport you would like a ticket to?
Field hockey, weightlifting, and watching Usain Bolt in the 100 metres.

What was the last book you read?
The one I am reading at the moment is by Jim Collins on improving skills - how one can go from good to great. The last book I read was Fredrick Forsyth's The Devils Alternative.

Late nights or early mornings?
Early mornings. I love my mornings. I used to wake up at 4am as a kid to go for my cricket training. I also love cycling. If I'm in the mood, I take the bike out for a ride.

Does your family wake up to the sounds of MS Subbalakshmi?
Not really. We are not an orthodox Tamil family.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Interesting. It will have to be the Tamil rap song "Pettai Rap" from the movie Kadhalan.

We're told you are a Tamil movie buff. Can you do a dialogue from a film?
A Rajni [Rajnikant] dialogue would be a good one. It comes from a movie called Pasha. Rajni says Naan oru dhadave sonna, nooru dhadave sonna madri" [If I have said it once, I have said it a 100 times].

Who's your all-time non-sporting hero?
Kamal Hasan and Aamir Khan. Both experiment with their movies. Kamal is probably slightly more talented than Aamir.

What is the one thing you can beat Sachin Tendulkar at?
The knowledge that I have about my trade - offspin bowling. I definitely know my art.

Leander Paes has just won his 50th doubles title. What does it mean to you as an Indian?
I am a very proud Indian. Each time Leander or Mahesh Bhupathi does well I'm elated.

What's the one question the media should be banned from asking you?
The media should not be allowed to ask about a sportsperson's personal life.

What kind of batsman is most difficult to bowl to?
The kind of batsman who really uses his feet - sits back and taps the ball to the on side and allows the other batsman to take strike.

Who is the one person you like following on Twitter?
Andre Agassi.

Name one advantage for an international cricketer of being married and one disadvantage.
There is no disadvantage as such. You must enjoy life with your partner. I am a very much a family man. Marriage gives you a feeling of being settled. I have someone who I can bank on and it is a really wonderful feeling.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on April 7, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    where is sachin and where is ashwin what a comedy. sachin is great player and he is great in all. jai sachin jai jai jai sachin

  • dummy4fb on April 6, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    Is Ashwin forgetting that Sachin used to bowl as well or was he busy reading cheap novels when Sachin was doing those tricks? Furthermore, even though Sachin has registered as 'leg-break' he used to bowl an impossible mixture that definitely included 'more-turning-off-breaks-than-Ashwin's'.

  • csowmi7 on April 4, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    It seems absurd that people have already started calling Ashwin an ordinary bowler. He had an amazing debut series against WI taking 22 wickets and scored a century. Ans in Australia he took 8 wickets in 3 matches. Yes in a couple of ODIs he struggled against Aus but he bowled to the Hussey bros who know everything about him. He was fantastic against SL in all the matches hardly conceding over 30 runs and taking at least 3 wickets a match. Give the guy a chance. I mean Harbhajan was terrible in Aus having an average close to 50 or something and a best bowling of 3/100. Seems strange people expect Ashwin to score centuries take 5 wicket hauls and attend all press conferences when the team is losing miserably. He is a promising young cricketer and deserves a long run.

  • androyuvi on April 4, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    and being an atheist i cant agree sachin as a god too :P hes a great human, very good cricketer, but no god..

  • endoftest on April 4, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    @RunABall i read the comment and understood as a indian cricket fan in general not just as sachin praising fan. So may be its time you read that again. Coming to the point of ashwin knowing more about offspin than sachin, what's wrong with that ?. sachin is a good cricketer and may be a good person also but he is not playing for the country for free, so its not a favor, he is doing his job and he is getting paid for that. No need to over hype by calling him "GOD" as our people do. He also was ready to attend dravid's farewell ceremony organised by BCCI, he could have gone for doctor's appointment next day ( maximum he would have missed 1 IPL match ).... :-)

  • johnathonjosephs on April 4, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    I used to not like Ashwin for many reasons, but after reading this interview, I find he's just a normal guy. What's more, it seems as if he was just an ordinary cricket fan who practiced cricket and came to the big stage. My supports is behind Ashwin now

  • thinktank1 on April 4, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    simple and light interview..

  • ansram on April 4, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Why can't Ashwin know more about off spin than Sachin? The comments of some users are funny they think Sachin knows everything under the sun.

  • cric4india on April 4, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    Wow!! Why is Sachin in this feedback session? Do his detractors really know how they actually elevate him this way? I don't have any complaints! Thank you...hahaha

  • sixnout on April 4, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    JamesTheWallDravid... Are you kidding me? Sachin gave the name the WALL to Dravid.. He taught Saqlain how to bowl the Doosra... He taught W.G.Grace how to bat..Sachin is better than Kallis and Sobers combined as a allrounder.. He can bowl faster that the fastest ball ever bowled.. He is a better fielder than Jonty.. Sachin is GOD... How dare you question that... Its blasphemy... I am going to sue you... But I think Sachin would not agree with any of my comments :(

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