Ravichandran Ashwin is a champion bowler for us: Virat Kohli
Colombo: Virat Kohli yesterday gave a thumbs up to spinner R Aswin's aggressive style of bowling as the India captain savoured a crushing 278-run series-levelling victory over Sri Lanka, here yesterday.
Ravichandran Ashwin (arms raised) celebrates with skipper Virat Kohli (right) the wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne against Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval in Colombo yesterday. Pic/Solaris Images
Off-spinner Ashwin has picked 17 wickets in two matches and for second successive time in this series, India were able to achieve their target of taking 20 wickets. "Ashwin has been a champion bowler for us. He's been taking wickets for us everywhere. Even on the Australia tour he was more aggressive with the ball.
Even in his mindset, he's bowling in a more aggressive manner. It's almost impossible to get him away. He's bowling beautifully right now and I'm glad to see him with this kind of mindset, attacking the batsmen all the time," said Kohli.
'A satisfying win'
Indian skipper said that his first Test win as captain of a young team is very satisfying especially after the loss in Galle. "It's pretty satisfying especially knowing we came pretty close twice before at Adelaide and Galle. I think the Galle defeat hurt us in the right way.
It's a commendable effort by all the boys, to regroup so well after the loss like that knowing that we should have won the game. I think it's tremendous effort to get yourself together, put yourself in and play the same way again.
"To capitalise and improve on the same situation that we failed to in the first Test shows the guys are keen to improve and hungry to win. As a captain that is very satisfying," he said.
Kohli said nothing makes him happier than seeing that they were able to bowl out the rivals twice. "I'm more pleased with the bowlers taking 20 wickets rather than guys getting hundreds. That's usually been the case for a very long time to have someone getting the runs.
In the past two years, that was easily our best bowling effort as a group, especially in terms of partnerships. That actually gives them more confidence. Next time they go around, they will go with the belief they can take crucial wickets," he said.
Talking about whether bowling last on this wicket was a certified advantage, Kohli said, "Definitely. Last game in Galle why we got into the game early was we took five wickets in the first session.
"Because batting first and getting a decent total, obviously puts pressure on the opposition to equal that or get some sort of lead or you are always struggling to catch up in the game. We batted first and batted really well. Knowing the conditions in Sri Lanka, where the ball turns fourth and fifth days, you are always in the game if you are bowling last."
India's victory margin yesterday is their highest against Sri Lanka in terms of runs in Tests, eclipsing the 259-run win at Ahmedabad in December 2005
This is India's first win in 10 matches. Their last victory came against England at Lord's in July 2014