Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 25 (ANI): Axar Patel might have stolen the show in the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium, but senior partner Ravichandran Ashwin constantly guided him as the duo spun a web over the English batsmen. While Axar had 11 wickets to show for his efforts, Ashwin finished with 7 to enter the 400-wicket club.
Ashwin overtook New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee and South Africa’s Dale Steyn to become the second-fastest to reach 400 wickets. The pacers had taken 80 Tests while Ashwin scalped his 400th wicket in only his 77th match. Muttiah Muralitharan had reached the milestone in 72 games. Ashwin is also the fourth Indian bowler in the club after Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.
Speaking after the game, Ashwin said that it was a pleasant experience to enter the club and said that the spinners bowled well to ensure India ended on the winning side.
“Pleasant experience (on reaching 400 Test wickets). Good that it happened in a winning cause. We were worried after getting bowled out for 145, didn’t think we didn’t have many runs on the board. We then bowled beautifully on a wicket assisting us,” he said.
Ashwin has been bowling well in recent times, but the spinner said that he wasn’t sure that he would start in the series against Australia. “At the start of the Australian tour, I didn’t think I would be starting, but then (Ravindra) Jadeja broke down and it might have had to happen.
“I think my bowling is coming beautifully, I thought I was bowling well in the IPL. In Australia, I had a chat with Ravi (Shastri) and Virat (Kohli), they felt I was bowling well. I worked a lot on my fitness, this body is aging, it has looked upwards for me since the lockdown. I have been having a lot of chats recently — it’s incredibly difficult watching the game from the dressing-room, you don’t know how things work. We lost the first Test and it’s extra special to come back and win,” he pointed.
Asked on the road ahead, Ashwin said: “People are asking the same question. I want to keep improving, that’s what motivates me a lot.” (ANI)