The handy bowling all-rounder had to make tough dietary changes for the sake of his game

The spin spearhead of the Indian cricket team and Man of the Series in the 2010 Champions League Twenty20 played in South Africa, Ravichandran Ashwin has been a vegetarian since his childhood days. It, therefore, came as a rude shock for the Tamil Nadu-born cricketer when his nutritionist told him that his protein intake was too low and his game may suffer. After much convincing, Ashwin introduced eggs and chicken into his regular diet. “I couldn’t continue eating chicken for too long, but I still eat eggs and I now like them.”

The tall right-arm off-break bowler’s food habit is just like his bowling: disciplined. “I eat healthy and as many small portions through the day and work out religiously.” The bowling all-rounder is handy with the bat too, but his clever bowling strategies and its fine art of deception is what brought him into the spotlight. Speaking of his accurate and shrewd bowling, he says, “I have often been told that I am too intelligent for my own good.”
The quintessential and dependable bowler isn’t too reliable in the kitchen though. He admits that he doesn’t know how to cook and barely enters the culinary space, except to make his own smoothies and fresh juices. “Since I don’t cook, I can’t be finicky about food. I adjust well to even bad food. But I can differentiate between good food and bad food,” he says about his escapades in the kitchen. When asked about his favourite dish, he says, “I enjoy my dosa and masala dosa, paneer and dal-roti, and because of not knowing to cook, I eat out. Italian is my favourite cuisine. I have started enjoying Japanese cuisine a lot too. But food—the healthy options—often constitutes the only form of indulgence for me.”

Watch Ravichandran Ashwin with VVS Laxman, in conversation with Sandeep Patil on Taste Match, Saturday, May 13, at 8pm, only on Living Foodz

Illustration conceptualised by Vartika Pahuja

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