Ravichandran Ashwin played for India in the draw Kanpur Test against New Zealand.© AFP
India could not win the Kanpur Test match despite an enthusiastic performance from the spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in the last two sessions of the fifth day when debutant Rachin Ravindra and last man Ajaz Patel batted out 52 deliveries to help New Zealand escape with a draw. India had to pick 9 wickets on the final day to win the match, but the overnight pair of Tom Latham and William Sommerville batted out the entire first session to frustrate the Indian spinners.
Ashwin and Jadeja with the help of Umesh Yadav and Axar Patel had an enthusiastic fightback when India reduced New Zealand to 155/9 but the final wicket never came.
In the process, Ravichandran Ashwin passed Harbhajan Singh to become India’s third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. Head coach Rahul Dravid had already praised Ashwin at the post-match press conference and broke down his performance in the match to explain why he is one of India’s biggest match winners in the format.
“Ashwin is one of those guys who was an absolute match winner for India, even today you saw on this difficult wicket. The way he pulled us back on that third morning in the match, with that game of 11 overs, was absolute “And then today just to keep us alive in the match, to constantly threaten on wickets like this, is a tribute to his skills and ability,” Dravid told Press Trust of India.
Dravid, who played with Ashwin at the end of his Test career, talked about how the spin-off has evolved over the years.
“He just developed, he just kept growing. He’s one of those guys who keeps thinking about the game, keeps changing, keeps developing, that’s why he (came) where he got. You do not achieve what Ashwin has. “It’s a pleasure to grow and improve and develop. It’s a pleasure to have someone like him in the locker room and to work with. I’m really happy for him,” said Dravid.
Ashwin contributed with both bat and ball in the game. He finished the match with figures of 6/117 and played crucial beats of 38 and 32 in the first and second innings respectively.
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