India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test: ‘All-time great’ Ashwin goes past Kapil Dev’s 434 wickets | Cricket News – Times of India

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MOHALI: The number 434 has been Indian cricket’s pride since Kapil Dev retired from international cricket in 1994. Once he had surpassed Richard Hadlee‘s tally of 431 Test wickets, it was the envy of the cricket world till Courtney Walsh went past him in 2001. Eight bowlers have gone past Kapil since and Anil Kumble has remained India’s highest Test wicket-taker for close to two decades.
On Sunday, R Ashwin claimed Sri Lanka‘s Charith Asalanka first Test to go past Kapil’s tally. After finishing the second innings with figures of 4/47, he now stands at 436 wickets in 85 Tests.

“It’s a big thing in his cricketing career to achieve that feat. When you grow up wanting to play Test cricket, you don’t dream about these things,” India’s new all-format skipper Rohit Sharma said after the match on Sunday.
“I have been watching Ashwin for a long time and every time I watch him, he seems to get better. Ashwin is one player who always has confidence in his ability in what he wants to achieve and for the team as well,” Rohit added.

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However, with the emergence of Ravindra Jadeja as a formidable allrounder in the last four years, Ashwin has had to fight for his place in the eleven in Tests abroad. “I really can’t tell you anything about his overseas place and why he doesn’t fit in. Obviously, I have no idea as I wasn’t part of the selection at that point and I can’t tell you what happened and why he was left out,” Rohit steered clear of the awkward question.
In the course of the press conference, though, Rohit identified Jadeja’s attributes that have strengthened his position in the XI across formats. “To me, he is one of the top allrounders. To score 175 not out and take nine wickets in the game, he’s just upping his game every time we see him. In the past as well when we played in India his contribution with the bat lower down the order and picking those crucial wickets… he seems to be adding a lot more to his game every time he plays. He’s very hungry, as you can see,” Rohit said.

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“When I talk to him about certain things he is very open-minded. He wants to take the responsibility, he wants to take the challenge. The example was there in the T20 series against Sri Lanka. I just casually asked him if we would want to bat up the order and he was open for it. I want to use Jadeja a lot more with the bat. We all know his bowling,” he offered a peak into his plans.

However, the importance of Ashwin can’t be undermined. His experience and game awareness are invaluable at a time when the team is undergoing a transition. “Ashwin is an all-time great in my eyes. He has been playing for so many years and had many match-winning performances,” Rohit asserted.



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