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Kuldeep Yadav reveals R Ashwin’s exact words during dramatic ‘ball-exchange’ moment in 5th Test: ‘I got 35…’

Kuldeep Yadav had reserved a special gesture for Ashwin after the latter took four wickets in his 100th Test in Dharamsala

Kuldeep Yadav’s magical spell led India’s charge on the opening day of the fifth Test against England in Dharamsala. The left-arm wrist spinner scalped five wickets, helping India bundle the visitors out for just 218. Ravichandran Ashwin, in his 100th Test appearance, also played a crucial role, bagging four wickets.

Ravichandran Ashwin (3rd from left) pushes Kuldeep Yadav (right) to lead the Indian team following end of England’s 1st innings in the Dharamsala Test(PTI)

With the spin duo’s brilliance, India wrapped up the English innings in just 57.4 overs. At Stumps, India stood at 135-1, with skipper Rohit Sharma unbeaten on 52 and Shubman Gill on 26.

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As the final wicket of England’s innings tumbled, Kuldeep jubilantly hurled the battle-worn SG Test ball towards his teammate Ashwin in a gesture of respect, marking his momentous 100th Test match. With a gracious smile, Ashwin returned the ball, initiating a playful exchange between the two spin bowlers.

Showing great camaraderie, Ashwin persistently handed the ball back to Kuldeep, urging him to savour the spotlight. Although Ashwin had clinched four crucial wickets, it was Kuldeep who stood out with a fifer, a feat he narrowly missed achieving in the previous Test against England.

During the post-match interview following the end of the day’s play, Kuldeep spoke in detail about the exchange with Ashwin and explained his gesture towards the Indian spin great.

“He is very kind and humble. Obviously, playing his 100th Test match for India… it is unbelievable. I’ve been with the team for seven years, and I’ve seen his ups and downs. It is lovely to have him in the dressing room and to learn from him. I thought he was playing his 100th game, and he deserves that. He is a very special player,” Kuldeep said.

When the anchor pointed out that Kuldeep can keep the ball, as Ashwin already has 35 five-wicket hauls to his name, the chinaman spinner insisted that it was precisely what Ashwin himself had advised him to do!

“He told me the same thing! He said, ‘I got 35, so, you can keep it!’” Kuldeep said.

Ashwin has had 21 wickets in this series with another innings to go, and Kuldeep, who wasn’t picked for the opening match, has 17 to his credit so far. India have already clinched the series and lead 3-1, and will aim to wrap the home season on a high with another win in Dharamsala before the players join their respective franchises for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.


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