After a breathtaking display from the bowling all-rounder against the Kiwis, the Indian Test captain Virat Kohli has praised Ravichandran Ashwin by calling him a “priceless” cricketer following India’s win in the first Test match against New Zealand.
“Ashwin has been outstanding for the Indian team," the Indian captain said to ESPNcricinfo. He also said that he believes Ashwin is one of the most impact players in the world. He also revealed that he believes that bowlers are the key to winning Test matches and rankings are a lousy way to judge them.
"If you see all the impact players in the world, he comes in the top three-four easily. There are quite a few players making big impact for their respective sides, especially bowlers,” Kohli said. “Bowlers are the ones I feel that win you Test matches, and Ashwin is one of them. The rankings - I'm not a big fan of them - suggest that Ashwin is the best at the moment,” he further added.
Kohli was also asked for his comments on Ashwin’s performance over the years and what does he think about the bowling all-rounder. “There's no doubt that he's been bowling wonderfully well for the last couple of years. He works very hard on his game. He's a very keen thinker of the game. He likes to talk cricket. He understands the game very well, [he's a] very smart cricketer, very intelligent. That shows in his batting as well.”
The 27-year-old also believes the Chennai-based cricketer knows how to play depending on different situations. “He understands the situation and plays accordingly. He knows when to get runs and when to play the situation out,” he added.
The Indian captain hailed the spinner’s presence in the Indian squad following the opening Test match win over New Zealand. “It's priceless to have a cricketer like Ashwin in your Test team. He gives balance with both bat and ball,” said the winning captain.
Reportedly, Kohli was confident about the Indian bowling attack which was led by veteran off break spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Kohli revealed that it was the confidence over Ashwin and compatriot Ravindra Jadeja that allowed India to play with only four bowlers.
"Well obviously if you have a bowler of his quality, along with Jadeja who is so accurate…" Kohli said.
According to ESPN, India might make a change or two in the Indian top-order line-up as KL Rahul was injured in the second innings of the Kanpur Test match. India will face New Zealand in the second Test match of the series in Kolkata starting from September 30.