Indian skipper Virat Kohli recalled a text message that he had sent to veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin after India's comeback win in the Boxing Day Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Australia. It was indeed an emphatic win for the Men In Blue after the Adelaide debacle that they were a part of a week earlier.
Kohli had flown back to India after the conclusion of the first Test at the Adelaide Oval that was played under lights where the visitors suffered a humiliating defeat as they went on to register their lowest-ever Test score of 36.
Coming back to R Ashwin, he ended up registering a fifer in the MCG Test.
“Well, he is one of the most vital parts of this team. After Melbourne, I sent him a text that this is the best I have seen you bowl overseas ever. I remember we had a conversation in Adelaide as well, I said people do not remember these small moments. In the first innings where Saha and Ash came out not out, Ash’s intent was something that stood out for me,” said Kohli while speaking on Star Sports.
“He had a conversation with us in the nets about his batting. We both said ‘you have so much more to provide for this team with the bat. That was one of your strengths. When we looked at you, we always felt like 30-35 guaranteed every innings’. If he gets going, he will score a crucial 70-80′. So, suddenly you saw his body language. It was like ‘Hold on, this is my time, my tour now with the bat and with the ball’,” the Indian captain added.
The Tamil Nadu cricketer registered 12 scalps in three matches and came up with a herculean effort with number six batsman Hanuma Vihari to stage an unbeaten 62-run stand in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the high-voltage contest ended in a stalemate. The middle-order duo made the Aussie bowlers toil by batting for nearly 43 overs.
Nonetheless, 'Ash' could not be a part of India's historic win at the Gabba in the following Test as he was ruled out due to a back strain that he had picked up on Day 5 of the SCG Test.
It was indeed a fairytale ending for a determined Team India as they ended up retaining the Border Gavaskar Trophy by winning the four-match series 2-1 and at the same time, also registered back-to-back Test series triumphs Down Under.
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