ASHWIN KEY TO INDIA’S STAY AT THE TOP, SAYS KOHLI
OFF-SPINNER Ravichandran Ashwin’s form in a long home season will be key to how long India can stay at the top of the world test rankings, captain Virat Kohli said yesterday. Kohli was presented with the ICC Test Championship mace for the No. 1 team after India’s 3-0 series sweep against New Zealand at Indore’s Holkar Stadium. Ashwin claimed 13 wickets in the final test to spin India to a comprehensive victory and bag the man-of-the-match award. His 27 wickets from three matches also earned him his seventh man-of-theseries award in 14 series, underlining the spinner’s importance in the side. “It’s an exciting thing to talk about his stats out there in the middle, it’s a topic of discussion for us,” Kohli said at the presentation ceremony. “He’s been a champion. I hope he can keep going through this long home season and keep the team at the top where we are.” The series against New Zealand marked the beginning of India’s bumper 13-test home season and Ashwin’s form would be crucial again when England and Australia come calling.