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Ravichandran Ashwin, one of the most consistent wicket-takers for the national Indian cricket squad since his international debut across all major cricket formats, has been ranked as the number-one international bowler by the International Cricket Council in the longest format of the game this year. The latest international cricket news is filled with Ashwin’s national and international records, as well as the 37-year-old player’s caliber to change the trajectory of any game with his exceptional swing. Although the Indian international cricketer has been receiving a ton of opportunities and praise from across the world today, only the true ones know Ashwin’s journey from being a regular teenager dreaming of playing cricket professionally to becoming one of the most dependable players for India in the bowling and fielding department. Let’s take a look at Ravichandran Ashwin’s cricket journey, national and international records, and IPL trajectory in detail.

Early life and career

Born on 17th September 1986, in the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Ashwin was one of the many teenagers who played cricket religiously with the common dream of pursuing the sport professionally and representing India on international cricket forums. It wouldn’t be wrong to thank Ashwin’s father, Mr. Ravichandran, for developing Ashwin’s love affair with the sport at an early age and encouraging him to experiment with his bowling techniques, as he was one of the most renowned club cricket bowlers of his time.

While many such teenagers gave up on their dream of representing India internationally, Ashwin was determined and focused on perfecting his craft of bowling different techniques by making the most out of the limited opportunities coming his way. Ashwin did not have a clue about the rules and regulations of cricket, as the player only played tennis-ball cricket with his friends on the streets of West Mambalam in Chennai. He learned the basics of bowling through his tennis-ball practice and used the finger-flicking method to pick up hundreds of international wickets later in his cricketing career.

Ravichandran Ashwin’s domestic cricket career

Ashwin’s domestic cricket debut came during the 2006 Ranji Trophy season, wherein the cricketer played his first-ever first-class match against Haryana. His debut domestic performance for Tamil Nadu was a hit, as the cricketer picked up four wickets and gave away less than a hundred runs from his 48 overs of bowling for Tamil Nadu. With 31 wickets under his name, Ashwin was the sixth-highest wicket-taker in the 2006-07 Ranji season and gave consistent bowling performance throughout his debut Ranji season. 

Bowling at an average of 16.93 and an economy rate of 2.52 in his debut Ranji season, Ashwin bagged his List-A debut against Andhra Pradesh in 2007. Although he failed to recreate the same energy as his first-class debut, Ashwin managed to knock off two wickets at an economy rate of 3.50 in his List-A debut against Andhra Pradesh. As of today, Ashwin has bagged over 700 first-class wickets and 236 List-A wickets from his domestic cricket career at a decent bowling average and economy rate. 

Indian Premier League

The domestic cricket performances of the young Ravichandran Ashwin received plenty of attention from the media, as well as selectors of multiple national cricket boards. The 2009 Indian Premier League season came as a perfect opportunity for Ashwin to display his bowling caliber in the shorter formats of the game. He was selected in the Chennai squad for the 2009 IPL season and went on to become one of the most dependable spin bowlers of the franchise in the coming years. The player was seen struggling to keep up with his previous records in the tournament during his two-year-long stint with the Pune-based franchise but excelled as a captain for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2016. Apart from the Chennai, Pune, and Punjab-based franchises, Ashwin has also participated in Delhi’s campaigns in his Indian Premier League career. 

Ravichandran Ashwin’s international career

Ashwin’s exceptional ability to knock off wickets in limited over formats garnered praises from the media and audiences, which helped him secure his position in the national squad for the 2010 Zimbabwe Triangular Series. Although India failed to win the fifth match against Sri Lanka, Ashwin’s debut ODI performance came as a surprise for many as he excelled in both the bowling and batting departments. Ashwin picked up two wickets from his ten overs of bowling at an economy rate of five, all while scoring 38 off 34 at a strike rate of over 118.

A week after his ODI debut against Sri Lanka, Ashwin was selected for the 2010 India tour of Zimbabwe, wherein he was successful in picking up a single wicket for his team while bowling at an economy rate of 5.50. Between 2010 and 2022, Ashwin picked up over 70 wickets at a bowling average of 23.22 and an economy rate of 6.90 from his 65 appearances for India in the shortest format of the game. His best performance in the shortest format of the game internationally came during the 2016 Sri Lanka tour of India, wherein the player picked up four wickets and gave a mere eight runs from his four overs of bowling, which helped India win the match by nine wickets.

Among his ODI performances, Ashwin stood out during the 2015 ICC Men’s World Cup season. He was exceptionally good with the ball during the entirety of the One-Day tournament, but his performance against the UAE at Perth, wherein the player picked up four wickets from his ten overs of bowling at a respectable economy rate of 2.50 stands as his best.

Almost two years after his international cricket debut, Ashwin got the opportunity to put his bowling caliber to the test in the longest format of the game. His Test debut came during the 2011 West Indies tour of India, wherein the cricketer knocked off three wickets at an economy rate of 3.00 in the first and six wickets at an economy rate of 2.18 in the second innings, which helped India win the match by five wickets. The international governing body of cricket named Ashwin as the most successful Test cricketer of this year for his exceptional performances in the longest format of the match. The 37-year-old Indian international cricketer has always been described as a cricket nerd and is known for his exceptional bowling caliber, excellent leadership, and technical assiduousness in the game. 

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