Rohit Sharma lauds R Ashwin on achieving a milestone of 100 Test

Ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, Indian captain Rohit Sharma fondly reflected on his enduring partnership with seasoned all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, who is poised to mark his 100th Test appearance on Thursday. Set amidst the picturesque backdrop of Dharamshala, the eagerly awaited match promises an enthralling showdown between India and England. Ashwin’s milestone adds an extra layer of significance to this pivotal encounter, amplifying the excitement among cricketers.

In the pre-match press conference, Sharma reflected on his shared journey with Ashwin from their days in age-group cricket, notably at the under-17 and under-19 levels. He reminisced about Ashwin’s previous role as an opening batter and his own as a spinner during those formative years. Praising Ashwin’s commitment, Rohit hailed him as a true “team player”. He recounted a touching incident from the Rajkot Test, where Ashwin, despite his mother’s hospitalization, expressed his desire to return and complete the game.

“It feels good if you get to see the fruits of all the labour you put in. I have been watching him for so many years. We played together in the Under-19s – we played in the Under-17s too – and he used to be a batter then, an opener, and he started bowling later. I used to bowl then, but I became a batsman, so it’s all gone upside-down, but it has gone well for Indian cricket,” Rohit said to India Today.

“The biggest thing is that he’s a team player. We saw it during the Rajkot Test. It was quite a difficult situation for him, but he called me up and said he wanted to come back and do something for the team. You see these things very rarely in players, and when you have players like that in your team, you raise your head even higher,” he added.

Ashwin’s contribution to Indian cricket

In his illustrious career spanning 99 Tests, Ashwin has scalped 507 wickets at a remarkable average of 23.91, boasting 35 five-wicket hauls, with a stellar performance of 7 for 59 being his best bowling figures. Complementing his bowling prowess, he has also amassed 3,309 runs in 140 innings at an average of 26.14, embellished with five centuries and 14 fifties. Undoubtedly, the Tamil Nadu cricketer stands as one of the premier all-rounders in contemporary cricket.