India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin was adjudged Man of the Series for his stellar performance in India’s 3-1 series win against England in Ahmedabad on Saturday. The 34-year-old grabbed 32 wickets including 3 five-wicket hauls and scored 189 runs including a hundred to carry forward his golden run in the longest format of the game.

After India handed England an innings and 25-run defeat and qualified for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, Ashwin reiterated that the WTC final was as good as the World Cup final for the team. He added that the last 4 months have been one of the best phases of his career but scoring a hundred at his homeground in Chennai was something he thought was not his cup of tea.

“The fact that we qualified for the WTC final is very important. Beating Australia in Australia has to be the pinnacle, but with the context – being in the WTC final is not a joke – this means a lot to us. The WTC final is as good as the WC final. The intensity was low in the first Test in Chennai, despite the high in Australia. Every time there was a challenging time in the series, someone put their hand up, so this series win was right up there.

“The last four months have been quite a ride. I didn’t think I’d make a hundred in Chennai, I went with the flow because my form with the bat wasn’t great. I can sit back now,” said Ashwin, who scored 106 runs in the 2nd innings of Chennai Test.

Important for me to be happy, being desperate and content is bad

Further, the off-spinner said that he was not sure if he would feature in the starting XI of the Test matches versus Australia but was backed by coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli in Australia. The Chennai-born added that being happy was more important for him than being desperate and content.

“I didn’t think I’d start in the XI in Australia, but after all the injuries, especially to Jadeja, obviously it wasn’t a good thing but Ravi bhai and Virat gave me confidence. This is one of the best runs in my career.

“Being desperate is bad, being content is bad, but it’s important for me to be happy, and I’ve stayed on my feet, and worked out batsmen and I’m happy it has worked out well for me. Every pitch and every situation is different and this is where I find myself in. I love to live through it,” Ashwin said.

Pant’s comparison to legends has been unfair

Ravichandran Ashwin heaped rich praises on Pant for his wicket-keeping skills in the series and reckoned that people have been unfair by comparing him to legends of the game. Ashwin also appreciated Axar Patel’s effort in his maiden Test series. Patel finished with 27 wickets from 3 matches in the series.

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