New Delhi, Sep 21: After Cheteshwar Pujara, Team India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Wednesday (Sep 21) picked his 5 best Test memories in country's history as India gear up for the 500th Test in Kanpur. (India's "Greatest Test XI")
India played their first ever Test match in June 1932, against England at historic Lord's Cricket Ground. CK Nayudu was the captain and India lost that match by 158 runs.
Its been 84 years since that historic debut in the traditional format, India are set to play their 500th Test, this time at home, at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur against New Zealand. (13-Test home season will be 'career-defining' one for us: Virat Kohli)
Spearhead of India's spin department Ashwin, who is part of the Virat Kohli-led Indian side for the New Zealand series, picked his 5 best moments, in a video posted on the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) website.
"There have been a lot of memories as far as Indian cricket goes. I had to pick the top 5," said the 30-year-old all-rounder.
Ashwin rated former spin legend and India's current head coach Anil Kumble's historic 10-wicket-haul as the best memory.
"My number 1 being Anil Kumble's 10-wicket-haul against Pakistan at Feroze Shah Kotla. Its not a feat that happens very often and in that Test match we were lagging behind by 1-0. I watched the first Test at Chennai and see the comeback at Delhi was fabulous and 10-wicket-haul to top it up," said Ashwin.
The Chennai bowler rated India's historic win against Australia in 2001 at Kolkata's Eden Gardens as his second best memory.
"My second best memory would be 2001 Australia series where India beat them coming back at Kolkata, where (VVS) Laxman and (Rahul) Dravid completely ressurected the Indian fightback," he added.
In this match, the hosts staged one of the most remarkable comebacks in history after following on. Thanks to VVS Laxman's 281 and Dravid's 180 (both in second innings after following on), India won that famous Test. (Here is India's Test squad)
Talking about the third best moment in Indian cricket, Ashwin termed India's tour of England in 2007, which India won under Rahul Dravid's captaincy. India won the three-Test series 1-0. India defeated England by 7 wickets in the second Test at Nottingham. The first and third Tests ended in a draw.
"No. 3 for me would be the series win in England where Rahul Dravid was the captain of the Indian side. That was one heck off a series, it was a very tightly fought series but Indians batted and bowled really well in the series to win it," he added.
India's Test series win against South Africa in 2015 is Ashwin's fourth best moment. The hosts, under the leadership of Virat Kohli, won the four-Test series against a mighty South African side. With 31 wickets in 4 Tests, Ashwin was the leading wicket taker in the series.
"The fourth moment as far as I am concerned would be the 3-0 win against South Africa that we had recently. We concluded the series it has be one of my best moments too.
The fifth and final best moment for the off-spinner is India's 2-1 series win against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, last year. After first Test, India were down by 1-0 but the team came back strongly in Virat Kohli's leadership and went on winning the remaining two Test matches and lifted the trophy.
No. 5 would be the series win against Sri Lanka that we achieved last year. All these victories have one thing in common, they were definitely very very special and had not been achieved by an Indian team before that.