Ravinchandran Ashwin has done what few Indian spinners have been able to. The 29-year-old Chennai tweaker has ensured that he ended the year becoming the No.1 bowler in Tests—a feat which was achieved by the great Bishen Singh Bedi decades ago. This recognition was bestowed on him on Thursday when the latest ICC rankings were released.
Ashwin’s feat is all the more remarkable as has done what his more illustrious countryman Kumble — finished second in the highpoint of their careers, Incidentally this was the first time that Ashwin has achieved this feat in his career.
After this achievement, Ashwin is at the top of the world. ‘There are no words to describe how I feel. Absolutely elated. I worked very hard on my bowling and I feel I have improved in various aspects. Overall, I feel I am a much better bowler than I was lets say a year ago,” said Ashwin.
Ashwin felt that finishing as the world No.1 was a dream come true. “A year ago, I could not imagine myself finishing as the World’s numero uno in Tests. I feel this position is a vindication of all the hard work I have put in. And yes to emulate Mr Bedi was doubly satisfying,” he said.
Ashwin’s climb to the top was helped in a small way by the injury to South African speedster Dale Steyn. Styen who had a slender lead over Ashwin going into the final week of December was injured during the first Test against England—and the Indian leapfrogged to the top of the chart. Ironcially this was the first time that Steyn has been injured in his career.
For the record, Ashwin ended 2015 by claiming 62 wickets in the nine Tests he played. What is more impressive about Ashwin’s feat is that he was ranked 15th at the beginning of the year. “Yes, it has been a good journey. I had to fight my way to the top,” he said.