The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

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.

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