After not featuring for the Indian men's national team in a T20 international since mid-2017, Ravichandran Ashwin's inclusion in the 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup on Wednesday came as a surprise even for his ardent followers.
However, over the years, with his performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the 34-year-old has always kept himself ready to pounce on whenever an opportunity arrives.
After BCCI announced the squad and Ashwin's eventual comeback into India's setup for the shortest format, the stalwart spinner posted an inspirational message on Twitter, which encapsulates his incredible mental strength.
On Twitter, Ashwin posted a picture of a wall in his house, with the quote "Every tunnel has light at the end of it. But only those in the tunnel who believe in the light will live to see it.." imprinted on it.
He wrote: "2017: I wrote this quote down a million times in my diary before putting this up on the wall! Quotes that we read and admire have more power when we internalise them and apply in life."
Furthermore, he added, "happiness and gratitude are the only 2 words that define me now."
A modern-day giant among Indian spinners, R Ashwin has 413 wickets to his name and has played 79 matches. His T20I stats aren't anything short of impressive either with 52 wickets in 46 matches at an average of almost 23 and an economy rate just short of 7.
The spinner's performance in the IPL has been up to the mark, enabling him to play a key role previously at the Punjab Kings and now with the Delhi Capitals.
In IPL 2020, Ashwin scalped 13 wickets from 15 matches at an economy rate of 7.66 and a strike rate of 23.53.
Ashwin's last limited-overs outing was during a tour of the West Indies and he has 52 wickets from 46 T20 International outings in his career.
Meanwhile, cricket presenter and analyst Harsha Bhogle lauding the decision, said: "Biggest news is that Ashwin is recalled to the #T20WorldCup team. No other spinner turns the ball away from left handers."