He made a comeback to test cricket nine times before he was laid low with an injury and had to be operated upon. He could not play the game for four months. It was 16 months before he was pronounced fit to get back to cricket. By that time he was too busy with his serials and decided to be a full time actor than a cricketer. Acting, he feels, is as enjoyable as cricket without the tension of having to play for the country.
Ankola has quite a number of films in his kitty. There's Guddu Dhanoa's "Guru" opposite Sunny Deol. Sanjay Dutt and Sunny Deol are two actors whom Salil admires a lot and would be happy to work with them one day. "Guru" is a remake of a South film. He is not at all fazed by the thought that he is playing second fiddle roles in all these films. The films are made under good banners, by competent directors and hold a lot of depth. He has nothing to worry about. Acting, as a profession, came tumbling in his life when after his knee operation, Salil was offered to replace Sharad Kapoor in the popular serial Chaahat Aur Nafrat. He has worked hard on his performance since then. He has put in 10-12 hours of work everyday. With the kind of reputation cricketers had, he did not want to fall flat on his face. Fortunately, all the hard work seems to be paying off.