Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar and current test skipper Virat Kohli have hailed off-spinner R Ashwin following his match-winning exploits against New Zealand in the first Test at Kanpur. The 30-year-old bowled brilliantly finishing with match figures of 10/225, his fifth 10-wicket haul in Test cricket, while also contributing with the bat scoring 40 runs.
The Tamil Nadu off-spinner recently became the second fastest bowler to take 200 Test wickets, just behind Australia's Clarrie Grimett. Ashwin reached the milestone in his 37<sup>th Test, taking just one more game than the Australian who got to the mark in 36 Tests.
His performances of late have impressed former India batsman Sunil Gavaskar who claimed that Ashwin is on his way to legendary status.
"Ashwin is galloping towards legendary status. He is already showing himself to be a great bowler and cricketer. The way he is batting and bowling, he will be a legend when he finishes his career. Opposition has been different when Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh played and the four great spinners played. But Ashwin has got a huge heart and is a keen student of the game who is looking to get better every single day. He will certainly leave a mark with both bat and ball", Sunil Gavaskar said, as quoted by NDTV.
Current Test skipper Virat Kohli too was impressed by the off-spinner, admitting that Ashwin is a "priceless" cricketer and an asset to the team with both bat and ball.
"He's been outstanding for the Indian team. If you see all the impact players in the world, he comes in the top three-four easily. There are quite a few players making a big impact for their respective sides. Especially bowlers. Bowlers are the one I feel that win you Test matches and Ashwin is one of them", Kohli said during the post-match press conference.
Hosts India currently lead the three-match Test series 1-0, with the second Test scheduled to start on 30 September at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.