Ravichandran Ashwin was declared player of the series after India wrapped up their biggest ever Test win by runs as they crushed New Zealand by 372 runs in Mumbai on Monday morning. Ashwin took 14 wickets in the two Tests as India clinched the series 1-0 after the opening match in Kanpur ended in a draw.
Former India batter Mohammad Kaif has said the offspinner deserves to be a regular fixture in the team’s Test playing XI no matter whether they are playing at home or overseas.
“Another Man of the Series for India’s trusted match winner. High time Ashwin becomes a regular in Test playing XI. And I mean both home and away. Spinners need to be given confidence and Ashwin has done enough to deserve that faith," Kaif tweeted on Monday.
Ashwin, who has now 300 Test wickets in India, often has to sit in the dressing room whenever the team is on an overseas tour. The most recent example of this was during the England tour when he didn’t get a single game in the five-match series which ended prematurely after the final match was cancelled due to covid issues.
Ashwin’s inefficacy in away conditions has been cited as the primary reason why he isn’t preferred in the eleven. However, at home, he has an enviable record.
During the two-match series against New Zealand, he surpassed Harbhajan Singh to become India’s third highest wicket-taker in Test history. In 81 Tests, the 35-year-old has now 427 wickets including 30 five-wicket hauls.
He’s now just eight wickets away from overtaking the legendary Kapil Dev as the second-highest wicket taker from India in Test cricket.
Ashwin’s next target is to help India record a first ever Test series win on South African soil. “I would like to go to South Africa and win a series there, we haven’t done that before, and hopefully we can do it this time," he said during the post-match presentation.