Indian off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin accredited Test Captain Virat Kohli for backing him as a bowler. Ashwin, the wrecker-in-chief in India’s 2-1 victory in the Test series over Sri Lanka earlier this month, emphasised that his captain’s belief in him did wonders. The 28-year-old was the leading wicket-taker as he scalped 21 wickets in the 3-match Test series.

“I want to be the best in whatever I do. I have reiterated this all the time. Even if I am being a bus conductor or driver I want to be the best in the world. So this particular fact that me and him [Virat] act on similar lines really helps,” Ashwin told NDTV.

“Whenever he hands the ball over, I can be rest assured that I will get what I want and I am always backed. And that’s something that’s not just between me and him. I think he has done that with everybody in the team. Whoever he has backed, he has backed them and helped them cross barriers,” he added.

The young Indian team is going through a transition phase and one has to give it to Kohli for what they have achieved under his captaincy. Triumph in the series even after being 1-0 down, in itself is a testimony to his attacking strategy and never dying hunger for the win. Critics on the contrary share the ubiquitous view that Sri Lankan Captain Angelo Mathews lead a weaker side. Ashwin brushed aside this fact by saying that credit should not be taken away from Kohli.

“If we want to take away the credit from what we have achieved then I think it’s a fair enough assessment. When there is credit due then I think you should give it and when you are due for criticism then you have got to take it lying down,” he said.

“If you see both the line-ups of the two teams then they were very similar. Both cricket teams had similar number of cricket matches under their belt. So I don’t see any reason why you want to take away from the fact that it was a great effort to win a series, coming back from 0-1,” he added.

He also defended his teammate Ishant Sharma and hoped that the lanky paceman will come out even stronger.

“I think everybody needs to be who they are. Everybody playing cricket wants to be aggressive. Some people are aggressive from within, some people are more expressive. But whatever happens in life, there needs to be lesson learnt and Ishant was aggressive, he won the Test match for us,” he said.

“No taking away things from him. He might have overstepped the line but that doesn’t mean we go overboard and have a go at him. I think he will learn from this experience and I am very confident he will come back being aggressive and being controlled aggressive and win a lot more games for us,” he added.

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