Team India had a disastrous start to their campaign in the four-match Test series against Australia as they lost the series opener in Adelaide by 8 wickets after getting bowled out for a paltry total of 36 runs in the second innings.
In addition, they were without the services of their skipper Virat Kohli, who returned back to India on paternity leave after participating in the first game. This had resulted in India facing a lot of flak and criticism with many predicting that the team won’t be able to survive in the Test series.
Reflecting back on the memories Ravi Ashwin told India Today, “I will put a disclaimer before making this point. After the first Test, a lot of people were talking about one particular fact which I think was huge at that point in time. We were going to miss out on No. 4 and the talisman of our country, Virat Kohli for the next Test. Imagine the gravity of the situation where you have lost a Test by miles, getting bowled out for 36 and you’re losing your premier batsman and captain for the next Test.
“But what was very interesting was the number of people that were talking about how that particular departure of Virat Kohli from that team environment would completely collapse the team. They were talking about Virat leaving and hence this team ‘has no chance, 4-0 whitewash’ etc, etc.”
Further, the ace spinner revealed that it was hurtful to hear talks regarding whitewash as there were many experienced players in the dressing room who had won matches for the team single-handedly. However, India bounced back beautifully as they scripted a stunning victory in Melbourne followed by a draw in Sydney and a historic win in Gabba to win the Test series by 2-1.
“The kind of results the team has achieved over the last decade or so is not ordinary. And we had people who had played 60, 70, and 80 Tests sitting inside the dressing room, having won a lot of matches on their own and still having to deal with people saying that the team literally didn’t exist beyond that first Test. We have been quietly confident and maybe people didn’t take notice of it. And it’s about time we perform and make people understand who we have been over the years,” Ashwin concluded.