India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, whose bowling masterclass of seven for 83 enabled the visitors to record an emphatic win against the West Indies, is happy that he has been finally able to break the deadlock of getting a coveted ‘five-for’ outside the sub-continent.
“It has taken me five years to repeat (record) this feat (five wickets in an innings) outside the sub-continent, that is something I always wanted to break. Getting a five-wicket haul away from sub-continent is something I have worked earnestly towards and I am really pleased for myself,” Ashwin told to the BCCI.TV.
Having emulated Ian Botham, who scored a hundred and recorded a seven-wicket haul in a Test match, the Tamil Nadu off-break bowler said that he would cherish the game for years to come.
“It was a very memorable game for me. I shared a great partnership with Virat. Wonderful to get a hundred and also
getting a five-wicket haul. It’s one of those games, which I will be cherishing for a very very long time,” said the man, who now has 183 wickets and 1317 runs from 33 games.
The 29-year-old, who scored fantastic 113 in the first innings said was pleasantly surprised when the skipper Virat Kohli asked him to bat at number 6.
“To be batting at No 6 was a complete surprise for me. Virat told me on the morning of the match and I really liked what he said. He told me “We trust you and want you to bat at No.6 and see how it works,” said Ashwin.
The exponent of carrom-ball felt that the presence of head coach Anil Kumble has helped him to bowl longer spells.
“In the first innings, I went wicketless for about 25-25 over’s that I bowled in the match. In the past, that would have definitely troubled me as I am a bowler who likes to keep getting wickets. I kept speaking to him (Kumble) about what I was doing right and what I wasn’t,” he said.
“I was constantly in touch with him (Kumble) also about what is the right speed to be bowling. He gave me different ideas about what lines I can bowl to the batsmen. It is about the knack of getting wickets and it is a good that we shared wickets today,” he added.
Ashwin said he was pleased to bat at No 6 as it provides him better opportunity in batting.
“Batting at No 6 there is always more opportunities to get a hundred than at No 8. I have started really well on that. Batting at six, I have managed to get a five-for as well so I hope I go from strength to strength from here on.”