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India vs England 4th Test: Ravichandran Ashwin hungry for a 'longer spell' 

The 37-year-old Ashwin is playing in his 99th Test and returned with figures of 5/51 in the visitors' second innings on Sunday

Our Bureau And PTI Ranchi Published 26.02.24, 11:54 AM
Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin File photo

Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday suggested that India captain Rohit Sharma should allow Ravichandran Ashwin to lead the team out on the field in the final Test against England in Dharamsala to honour the senior off-spinner in his milestone 100th match.

The 37-year-old Ashwin is playing in his 99th Test and returned with figures of 5/51 in the visitors' second innings on Sunday, his 35th five-wicket haul in the longest format.

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"(If) India win tomorrow (Monday), and you go to Dharamshala (for the fifth and final Test), I just hope that Rohit allows you to lead the team out to the field. That'll be a wonderful gesture, honour for all that you have done for Indian cricket," Gavaskar said while speaking to Ashwin on Jio Cinema after the end of the third day's play.

For Ashwin, however, playing well past his 100th Test matters more.

"Sunnybhai, you are being too generous, thanks so much. However, expectations about all these things, I think I am well past all that. But genuinely saying, I am enjoying every single moment I am being with this team. The longer it lasts, I will be happy," Ashwin said in his reply to Gavaskar.

Gavaskar's co-commentator and former captain Ravi Shastri also said it would be a perfect way for Ashwin to go to the Dharamsala Test after helping the team win with a five-for in his 99th Test.

"Yes... You can pick all the wickets you want, you performed the way you want, but it's nothing without the team winning. It (team win) is the best thing which can happen to a cricketer... Win a Test after four-five days, the feeling is surreal. I would like to have that feeling tomorrow (Monday)," Ashwin said.

Camaraderie

Ashwin was also all praise for teammate and wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who returned with fine figures of 4/22 with crucial wickets of Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes on Sunday.

"I loved the way Kuldeep bowled, he was brilliant, the way he changed the trajectory, change of pace, the dip he got — I think he's double the bowler now. I took away a 5-wicket haul from him.

"It was hard on him yesterday (Saturday), we sent him to bat early, but he showed a lot of technique and guile. We batted almost the entire first session. We would have taken a deficit of 70-80 runs when we went back to the hotel," Ashwin said, acknowledging the importance of Kuldeep's effort with the bat as well.

(With inputs from PTI)

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