Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who made an impressive Test debut by taking nine wickets, on Tuesday said patience was key to his success on an unresponsive wicket at the Feroz Shah Kotla in the first Test against the West Indies.
Ashwin's figures of nine for 128 in the unfinished match are second only to Narendra Hirwani's incredible debut performance of 16 for 136 against the same rivals in 1987.
"I had never thought of playing in Test cricket but probably I am gifted enough to play alongside the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid," Ashwin, who took six wickets in the second West Indian innings, said after the third day's play at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.
"I have never played on such a wicket. There was nothing on the wicket for the batsman as well as the bowlers. I have not seen such a wicket which was not so unresponsive to my variations. You have to be patient and work hard, bowl wicket to wicket. Strategically, I increased my speed of delivery a bit and used variations," he said.
Asked how he felt doing so well after being picked in place of senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, Ashwin said, "I am being given a responsibility and I think I have done my job. I have to satisfy my conscience."
He also insisted he was not nervous in his debut game.
"Frankly speaking, I was not feeling the nerves. I was not conscious my hip was moving which way and the like. I had to handle myself and my team-mates supported me well," he said.
The youngster credited his success to exposure he got by featuring in the Ranji Trophy matches.
"Playing in Ranji Trophy is the best thing for me and others for making it to Test. The format is almost the same and you can use your variations there. I have not played many Ranji matches like 60 or 70 games. But it (Playing in Ranji Trophy) had really helped me," said Ashwin.