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“One of the happiest years in my IPL career”, R Ashwin opens up on RR’s dressing room atmosphere

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Ravichandran Ashwin | BCCI/IPLVeteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has credited “very plateaued inner atmosphere” inside the Rajasthan Royals (RR) dressing room behind his impressive showing in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season.

Ashwin has played a vital role in RR’s success this year. He took 11 wickets in the league stage at an economy rate of 7.14 and also slammed 183 runs from 10 innings at a strike rate of 146.40.

See Also: R Ashwin has turned out to be a great all-rounder for us- RR captain Samson

RR finished the league stage in the second position with 9 wins from 14 outings. The Sanju Samson-led side will now take on table-toppers Gujarat Titans (GT) in Qualifier 1 at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday (May 24).

“Sometimes we talk too much about the game. I’ve gone through so many years of the IPL and when teams aren’t doing well, the constant badgering we get is about chopping and changing again. But I think we (RR) have pretty much being maintaining a very plateaued sort of an inner atmosphere, which I think has helped,” Ashwin said in a video posted by RR on Twitter.  

The off-spinner also termed the 2022 season as one of the “happiest years” in his career.

“This has clearly been one of the happiest years in my career in the IPL. I’ve been able to take my nuances and thought processes to a different level this year. Knowing is firmly believing, so, I know we can (win a second title).”

Ashwin is pleased by the fact that RR made it to the playoffs as No. 2 side and will play Qualifier 1 in his first season with the franchise.

“That’s a good beginning actually. Last time we think we qualified was when Shane Warne was around (RR won the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008 with Warne as their skipper). Looks like we are onto something special. To me, it’s been a great effort. If I look back at the season, it’s just been… we’ve had our low moments, but I thought we’ve been pretty standard in terms of how we’ve managed our inner space.

“The greatest strength of this team has been playing with freedom, playing with no expectations. And I think we should continue that and put a lot of pressure on whoever comes up against us in the rest of the games that we play,” said Ashwin.

“It’s been one very different year as far as I am concerned, as a cricketer and as a person…It’s nothing to do with the performance or qualification or anything. I’ve enjoyed so much in terms of how I’ve been able to explore, like I’ve always maintained with my cricket. The day I stop experimenting, the day I stop losing the passion for that is the day I’ll be done with the game,” added the off-spinner.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here (at RR) and the exploration part is something that I’ve been able to find exact expression, or exact form of expression.”

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