Hyderabad: Ravichandran Ashwin, who returned a record 12-wicket haul in India's thumping win over New Zealand in the first Test, said his success was not possible without good support from fellow spinner Pragyan Ojha.
Ashwin's were the best figures (12 for 85) by an Indian against New Zealand in a Test match.
"Due credit needs to be given to him [Ojha] as well. If one spinner takes the wickets and the other gets carried away then it becomes tougher," Ashwin said at the post-match press conference here. "Ojha is someone with whom I've played with for 16 years. We've always enjoyed each other's company. Rather I was a batsman when Ojha was a prime bowler, but we still used to bowl in one-dayers together. We always bowled well together. We always used to build to pressure very well."
Ashwin eclipsed Srinivas Venkatraghavan's 47-year-old record (12 for 152 in Delhi). "I took a glance at it during the presentation and told S Badrinath, 'Look who's down at the second spot.' It was on a lighter note. But yes, I was aware of it."
Ashwin hoped that their convincing win over the Black Caps would inspire them to do well in the season and leave behind the 0-4 rout in Australia. "As a whole, the team had a tough year. It happens with every team. We put that behind and started on a good note. We hope we will continue and have a great season."
Ashwin said he will not get carried away by the success. "I am really happy. As I've maintained, I'm not too happy or get too bogged down even if it's good or bad performances. Yes, this is a good start and the pressure is off my back. Still think, it's a long way to go. We have nine more Tests this season."
He also acknowledged Virender Sehwag's good show in the slip cordon in the absence of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman who were brilliant in closing catches.
"They [Sehwag's] were a couple of very good catches. Closing catches put the batsmen under a lot of pressure. It's definitely something you relish as a spinner. It was a terrific catch by Sehwag to dismiss Franklin. That kind of support you expect. From three wickets I could push on to five wickets and closed out the game today. It makes the difference."
Ashwin also warned that they would have to be watchful in the second Test as New Zealand would look to bounce back. "I think there would be much more stiffer contest in Bangalore. Batsmen would come out with better plans. We have to be up for it."
Ashwin said he would cherish the wickets of Jeetan Patel in the first innings and that of Ross Taylor in the second. The Kiwi skipper had left the ball only to be bowled.
"It happened in the first first-class match of my career. I don't remember after that. Left-handers probably left and got bowled like that. I also can't leave [behind] the wicket of Franklin [with Sehwag taking a diving catch at the first slip]."