Ravichandran Ashwin had last played a Test for the Indian cricket team in December 2018 during the Adelaide Test against Australia. After getting injured again, Ashwin spent a considerable time on the sidelines with India playing a majority of ODIs and T20Is before the ICC Cricket SWorld Cup 2019. The offspinner was not included in the playing XI for the series against West Indies but was picked for the Vizag Test against South Africa. Ashwin responded by taking his 27th five-wicket haul and taking the last two wickets of the South Africa innings as they finished with 7/145.
However, on the third day of the Test, following Ashwin's five-wicket haul, there was a report stating that Ashwin had stopped watching the game for some time. When a reporter asked a question to Ashwin as to why he had stopped watching the game, Ashwin came up with a very cheeky response.
"For starters, I have two kids who don't sleep that well at nights. Jokes apart, I felt like everytime I watch the game on TV, I felt like I wanted to play the game and I was missing out. It is very natural, everybody goes through it. I generally tried to do a few other things in my life as well. Books and a bit of archaeology stuff, I enjoyed," Ashwin said.
Reporter: Why did you stop watching the game?— BCCI (@BCCI) October 4, 2019
Ashwin: I have two kids who don't sleep & I got drawn to books ðŸ“–ðŸ“–& archaeology ðŸ§ÂðŸ§Â #TeamIndia #INDvSA @ashwinravi99 pic.twitter.com/y3Zv4iMFBG
Following Ashwin's premature end to the Australia tour, the Chennai offspinner had a County Stint with Nottinghamshire and he picked up a five-wicket haul even there. He had a good stint with the Tamil Nadu Premier League before being picked in the West Indies series. Ashwin, though, revealed that it was actually tough to stay away from cricket.
"To stay away from cricket itself was very tough for me. In order to substitute, I played whatever games I got. I tried and made opportunity for myself to go and play some county cricket (for Nottinghamshire). I tried and played the TNPL as much as I could, played some league cricket in Chennai," Ashwin said.
The 33-year-old is now only one wicket away from reaching 350 wickets. The offspinner is the fastest Indian to get to 200 wickets and on the same day Ashwin picked up five wickets, his spin bowling counterpart Ravindra Jadeja became the second-fastest to 200, achieving the feat in his 44th match. Jadeja, though, is the fastest left-arm bowler to take 200 wickets in Tests in so few games.