Premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday said he had never thought of overtaking legendary Kapil Dev’s Test wicket haul when he began his career and he is grateful of what the game has given him so far. Playing in his 85th match, the 35-year-old Ashwin went past the legendary Kapil’s 434 Test scalps to become India’s second most successful bowler in the longest format. He achieved the feat when he dismissed Charith Asalanka during Sri Lanka’s second innings in the first Test. India won the Test by an innings and 222 runs. Kapil’s 434 wickets had come from 131 matches. The legendary Anil Kumble tops the chart with 619 scalps which he claimed in 132 matches.
“28 years ago, I was cheering the great @therealkapildev on to get his world record tally of wickets. I never had the slightest of ideas that I would become an off spinner, play for my country and even manage to go past the great mans tally of wickets. I am delighted and very grateful to what this game has given me so far,” Ashwin wrote on his Instagram page after India’s win over Sri Lanka.
He said it was not easy to get wickets in the first match against Sri Lanka and he had to bowl tight for sustained periods.
“The surface was a really good one, it was not easy to get batters out when they were defending. You had to bowl tight for sustained periods,” Ashiwn said after the match which ended inside three days.
“I think Shami and Jasprit created pressure from the end where it wasn’t turning much.” Ashwin lauded Ravindra Jadeja’s match-winning effort, saying the spin all-rounder, who made 175 not out in India’s lone innings and took nine wickets in the match, has come a long way in his batting.
“I think he has really come a long way in the last four-five years. The number he is batting is a bit low in my opinion. His batting has gone one notch higher. He knows what he is doing and it reflects in the way he is batting,” Ashwin said.
“In between, we both realised that Jayant hasn’t bowled a lot and someone who is going to be the third spinner, Rohit also gave him a few overs. Sometimes it’s not that easy being the third spinner in the side and it’s important to look after.
“Jaddu was magnanimous in giving the ball away. Sometimes I get ahead of myself with the bat but I have worked on things was looking to take one ball at a time.” Ashwin took six wickets in the match, giving away 96 runs.
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