Respect the titan: Ashwin's 4th-innings prowess at home is second to none
The Indian Express Delhi|November 30, 2021
IF ONE is an Indian spinner bowling in the fourth innings of a Test match in Asia, and particularly so at home, one is criticised after doing well, and even more so if one doesn't.
ABHISHEK PUROHIT

IF ONE is an Indian spinner bowling in the fourth innings of a Test match in Asia, and particularly so at home, one is criticised after doing well, and even more so if one doesn't. If the former happens, the pitch often takes more credit and if the latter happens, the spinner is often deemed to have let down the pitch itself, in addition to the team and the fans.

If even one of the few close shaves the New Zealand last pair had in Kanpur been just a bit closer, it would have been a fitting way for Ravichandran Ashwin to go past Harbhajan Singh as India's third-highest Test wicket-taker. That Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel held on for a draw in fading light should take nothing away from the fact that since he debuted exactly a decade ago, nobody has taken more Test wickets than Ashwin.

And contrary to the perception that all he has to do is turn up at home grounds to feast on clueless visiting batsmen, Ashwin, like any other bowler in Test cricket, has had to work pretty hard for his 419 wickets.

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