Delighted to have Ravichandran Ashwin in the team, says Virat Kohli

first_imgOff-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up six wickets in England’s second innings as India cruised to victory in the fourth Test at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday to wrap up the five-match series with a game to spare.England, who resumed the final day on 182/6, were only able to add 13 more runs to their total as Ashwin took all four remaining wickets in a little more than half an hour and the hosts won by an innings and 36 runs. (Match Highlights | Scorecard)The five-wicket haul was the 24th for the world’s top-ranked Test bowler and his seventh 10-wicket haul, after the 30-year-old also took six wickets in England’s first innings, inspired India to an unassailable 3-0 lead. He finished with an impressive match figures of 12/167.Apart from captain Virat Kohli, nobody has been more important to India’s Test success on home soil than Ashwin and today when India, the world top-ranked Test side, wrapped up a memorable win in Mumbai, Kohli couldn’t stop himself from praising the lanky spinner for his contributions. (Ravichandran Ashwin’s golden Test run in 2016 continues)”Ashwin obviously is a champion bowler, we are running out of words to describe his performances. Every Test we play a game, he’s there bagging the Man of the Match award and even the Man of the Series award. He has won so many,” Kohli said after the match.”So, you can understand the impact that he has had in this team going to No.1 and where we stand today, I think 50-60 per cent of that has been Ashwin’s effort to be very honest. The batsmen have played second fiddle to his performances. He has contributed with the bat as well,” he added.advertisementAshwin, who is the quickest Indian and second-fastest in the world to reach the 200-wicket mark in Tests, is the third Indian to take more than 50 wickets and score in excess of 500 runs in Tests in a calendar year.Ashwin, who is also the No.1 all-rounder, has been in terrific form this year and is winning India matches not only with his exceptional bowling but also by batting brilliantly.In 11 Tests this year, Ashwin has scalped 71 wickets, including eight five-wicket hauls. Whereas, he has amassed 545 runs in 13 innings this year, including two centuries against the West Indies and three fifties. Overall, Ashwin has 247 wickets and 1749 runs in 43 Tests.A tall off-spinner who bowls in half-sleeves, Ashwin is a rarity in an age when many slow bowlers look to hide the extent of their elbow bend under full sleeves. Ashwin has a penchant for targeting the opposition’s best batsman, and his ‘carrom’ ball – a finger-spinner delivered with the knuckle – has flummoxed the best players of spin. He also bowls a slider and has the ability to summon up the occasional leg-break when he feels he needs it.Kohli praised Ashwin for his intelligence and said any team would love to have him in their squad.”I am just delighted to have a guy like that in the team. Any team would love to have Ashwin in their squad right now. Such an intelligent cricketer, knows his field, knows his bowling, knows his batting and the opposition knows that. So, it is very difficult to get past him and a real boost for team India,” Kohli said.last_img