Virat Kohli praises 'priceless, outstanding' R Ashwin

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Kanpur, Sep 26: "Outstanding. Very smart. Very intelligent. Best. Priceless." These were the words used by captain Virat Kohli to decribe Ravichandran Ashwin as he heaped praised on the offspinner after India demolished New Zealand by 197 runs in the 1st Test here today (September 26).

Match scorecard; Day 5 report; Series schedule

India's 500th Test at Kanpur's Green Park Stadium was a memorable one as they took a 1-0 lead over the Kiwis in the 3-match rubber. Ashwin was one of the architects of the success and rightly earned praises from his skipper Kohli. (Photo gallery)

R Ashwin celebrates a wicket during the 1st Test against New Zealand in Kanpur

The 30-year-old Ashwin took 10 wickets in the match, with 4 and 6 victims in first and second innings respectively. He also scored 40 runs. (Twitterati hail Indian team)

"He's (Ashwin) been outstanding for the Indian team. But if you see all the impact players around the world, I think he comes in the top three or four easily. There are quite a few players making big impact for their respective sides. Especially bowlers. Bowlers are the ones I believe that win you Test matches and Ashwin is one of them," Kohli said after the victory on Monday. (India's 'Best Test XI' chosen)

He continued, "The rankings, which I am not a great fan of, suggest Ashwin is the best at the moment. There's no doubt that he has been bowling wonderfully well for the past couple of years. He works very hard on his game. He is a very keen thinker of the game. He likes to talk cricket. He understands the game very well."

"Very smart cricketer, very intelligent. That shows in his batting as well. He understands the situation and plays accordingly. He knows when to get runs and when to play the situation out accordingly.

"So it's priceless to have a cricketer like Ashwin in your Test team who can give you balance with both bat and ball. I only wish him all the best that he keeps nurturing his skill so that we can keep dominating and winning Test matches as many as we can in the future as well," he added.

During the match, Ashwin took his 200th Test wicket, becoming the fastest Indian and Asian to the milestone, in 37 matches.

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