Virat Kohli has revealed details of a special message he sent to Ravichandran Ashwin during India's tour of Australia. After the visitors' stunning win in Melbourne, Kohli had lauded the off-spinner saying it was the best he had seen him bowl in overseas conditions.
After India's infamous thumping at Adelaide, it was Ravichandran Ashwin's bowling that set the tone for the historic comeback. He took 3 wickets in Australia's first innings, which included a duck for Steve Smith.
In the second dig, he got the biggest scalp of an in-form Marnus Labuschagne with a cunning delivery. Courtesy of this, India was able to keep the hosts from scoring more than 200 in both stints and eventually won the Test by 8 wickets.
In an interview with Star Sports, Virat Kohli called Ravichandran Ashwin a 'vital part' of the Indian team and also remembered a conversation with him in Adelaide.
"Well, he (Ravichandran Ashwin) 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 Virat Kohli.
Ravichandran Ashwin emerged as a discernible leader of India's bowling attack in Australia. The 34-year-old took 12 wickets in all from 3 games at a substantial average of 28.83.
Virat Kohli shares chat with Ravichandran Ashwin on the latter's batting skills
Virat Kohli also revealed a conversation with Ashwin about the latter's recent batting form. The skipper had reminded Ashwin about the time he broke into the international scene. He told the off-spinner that the team expects more from him with the bat.
"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'," said Virat Kohli.
Ashwin stood up to his skipper's trust as well. In the 3rd Test in Sydney, Ashwin, battling back pain, had weaved a valiant 6th wicket stand with Hanuma Vihari to save the game for India.