Aimed to contribute for team, not personal milestone: Ashwin

Galle, Aug 12 (IANS) After claiming a six-wicket haul against Sri Lanka on the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said on Wednesday that he was looking to contribute towards the team’s success and is not bothered about personal milestones.

India were 128/2 at stumps in reply to the hosts’s 183-run total in the first innings. Ashwin was the inspiration behind India’s impressive performance, and his figures of 6/46 was the best by an Indian in Sri Lanka, surpassing Harbhajan Singh’s 6/102 during the 2008 series.

“I am very happy that I have done well here again. It is about how the game is and not about my personal milestone. I will think how to contribute more for my team, to take my team ahead. It is an extraordinary performance to bowl out a team on the first day, especially on Sri Lankan conditions and after losing the toss,” Ashwin told the media after the end of the day’s play.

Speaking on team director Ravi Shastri he said, “Ravi Shastri is a very positive influence in the team. When I was not playing in Australia he came to me and spoke to why I am not playing. That’s where it all took off. Credit should also go to Bharat Arun as well. I look to keep improving every day.”

“Ishant Sharma bowled very well in the morning. After that I started bowling to my strengths and it paid off. Kumar Sangakkara’s wicket in the first over surely helps. I wanted to stay composed and relaxed and not be in a hurry,” he added.

The 28-year-old pointed out that the Indians will now have to bat long and put runs on the board as the wicket will get slower as the game progresses.

“I am not convinced with the bounce aspect of it. As the game goes on I think the wicket will get really slow. I think it will get harder to get wickets. From that aspect we need to bat really well and put good runs on the board,” Ashwin said.

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