India vs New Zealand: Rahul Dravid On Why Ravichandran Ashwin Is "An Absolute Match-Winner"
Rahul Dravid was all praise for Ravichandran Ashwin after the latter went past Harbhajan Singh in India's all-time Test wicket-takers' list.
India failed to win the Kanpur Test match despite a spirited performance from the spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in the final two sessions of the fifth day as debutant Rachin Ravindra and last man Ajaz Patel batted out 52 deliveries to help New Zealand escape with a draw. India needed 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 staged a spirited fightback with help from Umesh Yadav and Axar Patel as India reduced New Zealand to 155/9, but the final wicket never came.
In the process, Ravichandran Ashwin went past Harbhajan Singh to become India's third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. Head Coach Rahul Dravid was all praise for Ashwin in 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 has been an absolute match-winner for India, even today you saw on this difficult wicket. The way he pulled us back into the game on that third morning, with that spell of 11 overs, was absolutely phenomenal. And then today just to keep us alive in the game, constantly be threatening on wickets like this is a tribute to his skills and ability," Dravid said according to Press Trust of India.
Dravid, who played with Ashwin towards the end of his Test career, spoke about how the off spinner has evolved over the years.
"He has just evolved, he has just kept growing. He is one of those guys who keeps thinking about the game, keeps changing, keeps evolving, that's why he (has) got where he has. You don't achieve what Ashwin has achieved without growing and improving and evolving. It is a pleasure to have someone like him in the dressing room and to work (with). I am really happy for him," Dravid said.
Ashwin contributed with both bat and ball in the match. He ended the match with figures of 6/117 and played crucial knocks of 38 and 32 in the first and second innings respectively.