mohali: Prime Minister off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who became India’s second most successful bowler in Test cricket on Sunday, said it was not easy to get wickets in the first match against Sri Lanka and that he had to bowl tight for a long time.
In his 85th game, 35-year-old Ashwin went past the legendary Kapil Dev’s 434 Test scalp after sacking Charith Asalanka in Sri Lanka’s second innings. India won the Test with an innings and 222 runs.
Kapil’s 434 wickets came from 131 matches. Legendary Anil Kumble tops the list with 619 scalps he claimed in 132 matches.
“The surface was really good, it wasn’t easy to get batters out when they were defending. You had to bowl tight for a long time,” Ashwin said after the match that ended within three days.
“I think Shami and Jasprit created pressure from the end where it didn’t turn much.”
Ashwin praised Ravindra Jadeja’s match-winning effort and said the spin all-rounder, who made 175 not out in India’s only innings and took nine wickets in the match, has come a long way in his at bat.
“I think he’s come a really long way in the last four to five years. The number he hits is a little low in my opinion. His striking has gone up a notch. He knows what he’s doing and that’s reflected in the the way he hits,” Ashwin said.
“In between we both realized that Jayant hasn’t bowled much and that Rohit, someone who is going to be the third spinner, also gave him a few overs. Sometimes it’s not that easy to be the third spinner on the side and it’s important to take care of.
“Jaddu was magnanimous in giving the ball away. Sometimes I lead the way with the bat, but I’ve been working on things to get one ball at a time.”
Ashwin took six wickets in the match and gave up 96 runs.
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