Ravichandran Ashwin was the star of the show on day one of the first Test between India and West Indies, taking five wickets for 60 runs as the visitors were bowled out for 150. Ashwin also reached a significant milestone, becoming the third Indian bowler (after Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh) to take 700 wickets across formats in international cricket.
Ashwin was speaking after the day’s play and was full of praise for debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal, who made an impressive 40 not out in India’s second innings.
“He just reverse-swept the first ball of the last over! That’s what you can expect from him,” Ashwin said. “He is very vibrant, hope he goes far. From our side, we hope to keep the environment good for him.”
Ravichandran Ashwin also spoke about the pitch, which offered plenty of turn and bounce for the spinners.
“Pretty good performance,” Ashwin said. “There was moisture in the pitch in the first session. It got slow and started to spin a bit more. It got a lot more slower. Personally enjoyed my first spell and had to adapt a bit more after. Not surprised with the pitch, expected it to be a bit dry. In my previous tours of West Indies, when it spins, it also tends to be slow.”
Ashwin’s performance was a timely reminder of his class and importance to the Indian team. He is now just 36 wickets away from becoming the second Indian bowler to take 800 wickets in international cricket. The second day of the Test will be crucial as India look to build a lead and put West Indies under pressure. With Ashwin in their ranks, India will be confident of getting the job done.