Ashwin and Ojha picked up 18 out of the 20 New Zealand wickets
Fresh off their convincing innings and 115 run win against New Zealand in the first Test at Hyderabad, Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who took 12 wickets in the entire match, stated that fellow spinner Pragyan Ojha, who finished with six wickets in the match, deserved as much credit as him since he played a vital part in guiding the team to victory.
Ashwin’s 12 wickets for 85 runs is the best bowling performance by an Indian player against New Zealand in Test cricket history, with the previous being Srinivas Venkatraghavan’s 47-year-old record in Delhi, where he took 12 wickets for 152 runs.
When asked about what it felt like to break Venkatraghavan’s 47-year record, Ashwin said: “I took a glance at it during the presentation and told S Badrinath look who’s down at the second spot. It was on a lighter note. But yes, I was aware of it.”
Ashwin noted that since the New Zealand batsmen were struggling against Ojha from the other end, it helped gain more confidence and momentum in picking up early wickets.
“Due credit needs to be given to him (Ojha) as well. If one spinner takes the wickets and the other gets carried away then it becomes tougher,” Ashwin said.
“Ojha is someone with whom I’ve played with for 16 years. We’ve always enjoyed each other’s company. Rather I was a batsman when Ojha was a prime bowler then. But we still used to bowl in one-dayers together. We always bowled well together. We always used to build to pressure very well,” Ashwin added.
Ashwin also mentioned that he hoped the convincing win against the New Zealand would encourage the team to keep performing well throughout the rest of the season, and forget about the 4-0 whitewash at the hands of Australia at the start of the year.
“As a whole the team had a tough year. It happens with every team. We put that behind and started on a good note. We hope we will continue and have a great season,” Ashwin said.