Virat Kohli expresses admiration for R Ashwin: The Indian captain eulogized about his spinner picking his 400th Test wicket.
India captain Virat Kohli didn’t feel shy about admitting that both the teams’ batting wasn’t up to the mark in the recently concluded third Test match between India and England. Coming on the back of a monumental and deserving build-up around the refurbished Narendra Modi Stadium, the pink-ball Test got over in just over five sessions to entice a lot of severe criticism.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony after his opening batsmen sealed a 49-run target in only the eighth over, Kohli pointed out the lack of application backing it with some stunning numbers around dismissals.
“To be honest, I don’t think the quality of batting was up to standards. We were 100 for 3 and then got bowled out for less than 150. It was just the odd ball turning and it was a good wicket to bat in the first innings. It was bizzare that 21 of the 30 wickets fell to straight balls, Test cricket is about trusting your defence. Lack of application ensured it was a quick finish,” Kohli told Star Sports.
The match witnessed a rare occasion of none of the five specialist fast bowlers getting to bowl in the second innings which didn’t speak very highly about the pitch. Observing the funnier side of things, Kohli shared how his pacers in Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma reacted to the situation.
“[Jasprit] Bumrah said ‘I am getting work load management while playing’. Ishant [Sharma] said ‘I am playing my 100th game and still don’t get to bowl’ [laughs]. I have never experienced this before. A bizzare game which got over in two days,” Kohli said.
Virat Kohli expresses admiration for R Ashwin
Out of the 20 English wickets, 19 were picked by Indian spinners namely Axar Patel (11), Ravichandran Ashwin (7) and Washington Sundar (1). Playing only his second match, Patel was the pick of the lot with his immaculate lines throughout the 220 deliveries he bowled in the match.
“A lot of people were relieved when Jaddu [Ravindra Jadeja] got injured. But then this guy [Axar Patel] comes in. Bowls it quicker and from a bigger height as well.
“I don’t know what’s with Gujaratis and left-arm spin [laughs]. You just cannot sweep this guy but you also can’t keep defending as he would just keep bowling at you. If the wicket has something in it, Axar is very lethal,” Kohli praised 27-year old Patel.
An absolute outstanding team effort. 💯
Brilliant on the field. Way to go boys 🇮🇳👏 pic.twitter.com/No0dXnbGmG
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) February 25, 2021
In addition to being Ishant Sharma’s 100th Test, the match will also be remembered as one in which Ashwin picked his 400th Test wicket in England fast bowler Jofra Archer. Having achieved the milestone in just 77 matches, Ashwin has become the second-fastest to do so after former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan (72).
Kohli, who has been part of the playing XI in 71 (50 as captain) out of Ashwin’s 77 Tests, expressed wholehearted admiration for the 34-year old player considering him to be a “modern-day legend”.
“I think we need to stand up and take notice of what [Ravichandran] Ashwin has done. I told him I will call him ledge from today, he’s a modern-day legend. As a captain, I am so pleased he is in my team,” Kohli mentioned.