Ravichandran Ashwin was born in Chennai on 17 September 1986 to Ravichandran and Chitra. Despite initially starting off as an opening batsman in junior cricket, Ashwin did not enjoy a lot of success and eventually turned to off-spin. The fact that his father Ravichandran played club level cricket proved to be an inspiration but it was his coaches at St. Bede’s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Chennai that shaped his formative years as a cricketer at their academy. Ashwin is also a graduate of BTech in Information Technology from SSN College of Engineering.
Ravichandran Ashwin is an all-rounder plying his trade for the Indian cricket team, Delhi Capitals and Tamil Nadu. The 34-year-old is one of the most versatile spinners in the world and has become a mainstay for India since enjoying his breakthrough after an impressive display in the Indian Premier League. Ashwin made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in 2006 and was named captain of the side in the following year. However, the world started noticing Ashwin’s talent only in 2010, when he impressed for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. Soon, Ashwin was drafted into the India limited-overs side and was part of the 2011 ODI World Cup winning squad. In the same year, Ashwin made his Test debut against West Indies. Now he is widely regarded as one of the best off-spinners in the world.
Ravichandran Ashwin has registered plenty of records over the course of his career. Ashwin is the fastest Indian bowler to reach 100 and 200 Test wickets, while being the fifth and second-fastest in the world, respectively in each of the categories. Further, no other Indian cricketer apart from Ashwin has scalped five wickets and scored a century in the same Test match on two separate instances.
Ashwin is only the third India cricketer to be awarded Man of the Match (MoM) on debut, but later Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan also achieved this feat. The off-spinner also holds the record for the third-best figures on debut by an Indian bowler with his 9/128. Ashwin is also the leading wicket-taker for India in a four-match Test series with 28 wickets against Australia in the 2012-13 Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Ashwin is also the first Indian bowler to scalp 50 T20I wickets. During the calendar year of 2016, Ashwin was also the world’s highest wicket-taker with 72 scalps. In India’s 2016-17 home season, Ashwin surpassed Kapil Dev (63) to become the highest wicket-taker for the country in a single domestic season. Additionally, Ashwin is also the fastest to reach 250 and 300 Test wickets.
In addition to being included in the ICC Test Team of the Year in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, Ravichandran Ashwin was also the recipient of the Arjuna Award in 2014. Ashwin also bagged the ICC’s Test Player of the Year and Cricketer of the Year awards in 2016.
Further, he was also honoured with BCCI’s Dilip Sardesai Award for India’s best cricketer twice in 2010-11 and 2015-16. Ashwin also won BCCI’S Polly Umrigar Award for International Cricketer of the year in 2012-13 before winning the CEAT International Cricketer of the Year in 2016-17.
Ravichandran Ashwin was an opening batsman while representing India at U17 level, but due to lack of form he was eventually replaced by Rohit Sharma. Following his switch to being an off-spinner, Ashwin made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in 2006. Since then, Ashwin has scalped over 600 wickets in 128 first-class matches for his state.
Ravichandran Ashwin owes a lot to the Indian Premier League for the exposure it gave him. Ashwin started his career in the cash-rich league for Chennai Super Kings and went on to win consecutive titles in 2010 and 2011. Although his eye-catching display opened doors to the international stage, Ashwin was forced to leave CSK in 2016 after the former champions were banned. Ashwin represented now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016 season before missing the next year due to sports hernia.
Ahead of the 2018 edition of the IPL, Ashwin was snapped up by Kings XI Punjab for 7.6 crores and he was appointed as captain. The controversial mankad incident occurred in IPL 2019 before he sealed a move to Delhi Capitals ahead of the 2020 season, where he finished as runners-up to Mumbai Indians with his new franchise.
Ravichandran Ashwin earned his maiden call-up to the India side during the tour to Zimbabwe after an impressive IPL campaign in 2010. However, Ashwin made his debut against Sri Lanka, scoring 32-ball 38 and returning figures of 2/50. Although he was picked again for the three-match series against Australia at home, Ashwin was unable to stamp his authority.
Soon there were questions about his effectiveness, with his average going above 62.00. Despite some underwhelming displays, Ashwin redeemed himself at the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy final in England by returning figures of 2/15 in four overs during a rain-marred 20-over clash. Ashwin has since become a more rounded influence in the ODI format, making 111 appearances and scalping 150 wickets for India.
Ravichandran Ashwin marked his Test debut with a defining performance against West Indies. The off-spinner registered figures of 3/81 and 6/47 as India secured a comprehensive innings win, becoming Man of the Match (MoM) in the process. Later in the series, Ashwin became the third Indian to score a century as well take a five-wicket haul in the same match.
After being named man of the series in his debut series, Ashwin became the fastest Indian to 50 Test wickets after just 18 innings in 2012. Arguably, the pinnacle of his Test career came during the four-match series against Australia, when he scalped 29 wickets – a record for most in a single series by an Indian.
Ravichandran Ashwin made his T20I debut against Zimbabwe in June 2010. While he returned figures of 1/22 in his four overs, Ashwin could not rise up the pecking order consisting of Pragyan Ojha and Ravindra Jadeja.
It was during the 2014 Asia Cup in Bangladesh that Ashwin made a strong comeback in the format. Ashwin also played a crucial role for India in the 2014 ICC Twenty 20 World Cup as well, earning a place in ICC’s ‘Team of the tournament’. Although he has not played in the format since 2017, Ashwin was the first bowler to reach 50 wickets for India in T20Is.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who was born to Ravichandran and Chitra, lives in Chennai with his family. The 34-year-old is happily married to his childhood friend Prithi Narayanan since November 13, 2011 and has two daughters. Akhira, their first child, was born on July 11, 2015, while Aadhya came into their lives in December 2016.