Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel spun their web in Ahmedabad as India wrapped up the third Test against England in just two days to go 2-1 up in the four-Test series. While Axar picked five in the second innings, Ashwin added four more to his first-day tally to cross the 400-wicket mark in Test cricket.
Ashwin became the fourth Indian to reach 400 wickets in Test cricket. He also became the second-fastest bowler in the history of the game (after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan) to reach the feat.
On reaching the milestone, Ashwin, in a video shared by the BCCI, said, "Initial feeling? It was quite empty to be honest because we were under immense pressure today. We only got a 30-run lead and the game was in the balance.
"I was in the moment, and only after we took the DRS, I realised the 400-wicket feat. After they flashed the 400 wickets on the board, the entire stadium was up and everyone was clapping. I cannot put my finger and say (exactly) how I feel."
Ashwin also revealed how he accidentally became a cricketer. "I accidentally became a cricketer. I am a cricket lover who actually went on to become a cricketer. I am living my dream here. I never imagined I will wear the Indian jersey and play. For someone who loves the game so much, what better it can be to come and play the game," Ashwin told India's fielding coach R Sridhar.
Widely regarded as one of the best spinners among the current generation of players, Ashwin also said that pre-game planning goes to a different level for him.
"In Australia, before the Adelaide Test, I watched the footage for eight straight hours. Planning for me goes to a different level. I do not know why I started doing it but it's just that I do not want to leave any stone unturned. I used to watch a lot of footage even before but I think the understanding of the game has gone one notch higher," said the tweaker.
Sridhar also asked Ashwin if he's giving MS Dhoni 'a run for his money' in terms of collection of stumps.
"I think MS has a lot more than I do. For a large part of my early career, I have not been very good at all this. Now I cherish every moment. It has been very special and I have been collecting stumps," Ashwin responded