Ravichandran Ashwin, who accounted for Kane Williamson in the first innings as his 200th Test wicket, has termed it as a special one in his career. He has also admitted that the time after the 2013-14 South Africa tour was a low point in his career and slammed the continuous pitch debate in India.
Ravichandran Ashwin became the second fastest bowler to take 200 Test wickets in world cricket next to Australia’s Clarrie Grimmett when he took the wicket of Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson in the first innings.
Expressing his happiness about his performances in recent times, the Indian spin spearhead said, “I think it just had to be that way. It's fine, honestly. There are a lot of positives to look at and lots of good memories that I've created over the last five-six years of international cricket, and to look back and feel sore about it [the rain] is not the right way to go about my career. So, I'm just happy where I am right now.”
Ashwin also called the wicket of Kane Williamson “not a bad” one, although he had quite a few favorites - he recalled wickets from the Sri Lanka series, when he troubled Kumar Sangakkara last year time and again and accounted for him four times in the series and also the wicket of AB de Villiers in the ensuing SA-India series.
"Kane Williamson is not a bad 200th scalp," Ashwin said. "There are quite a few good wickets that I've had over a period of time. AB de Villiers in Nagpur was very well set up. Kane Williamson in this Test match in the first innings, I thought was a very, very good ball. Kumar Sangakkara in Sri Lanka… These are some special memories that I'll always cherish in my cricketing career. I hope I can create more and more in the future."
Ashwin also spoke about the difficult phase that he had to face after the South Africa tour in 2013-14.
He said, “That phase is very, very important. It taught me a lot, and more so, it emphasized that I should be working on my skill. And my skill has definitely been talked of ever since. This game, especially, I have a corn on my finger and I haven't bowled a lot in the last 25 days. I'm not very happy with the way it has come out so far. I just hope that I can do better in the series."
Ashwin gave credit to the New Zealand left handers who applied themselves in a much better way than the others on the sub-continental wickets.
He explained, "The way the New Zealand left-hand batsmen play is very different to the other left-handers. They don't plonk their foot across, they plonk it right down the wicket, try to play inside out a lot. It will work on this wicket because it doesn't have enough bounce, turn and carry. So it will work on this wicket. Just trying to change a bit of angles, and our targets were better today."
The Tamilnadu offie also slammed the pitch debate that has been going on in India over some years.
He said, "We don't have enough time to read about all these things. To be very honest, what kind of wickets we are playing is not something that [Anil] Kumble or [Virat] Kohli can go and roll wickets or water it. What we get is what we play on. Obviously, we are looking to play good cricket and it is not going to take the sheen off. It is very unfortunate that people don't realise it. But it is very important that we enjoy the brand of cricket that we play, and win is a win. Savour it. If a Test match in England gets over in two days, nobody talks about it. Why in India, though?"
Lasith Malinga or Bhuvneshwar Kumar? Who will take more wickets?
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