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R Ashwin refuses souvenir on 100th Test, insists five-star Kuldeep Yadav leads India off field after dismantling England

The gesture of champions from Ravichandran Ashwin as he ensured it was Kuldeep Yadav and not him who led India off the field after England were all out for 218.

Ravichandran Ashwin had a memorable outing in his 100th Test, picking up four wickets to play a key role in India dismissing England for 218 on Day 1 of the fifth Test. But while Ashwin finished with 4/51, it was the second-best bowling performance by an Indian. The top performer was Ashwin’s young spin partner, Kuldeep Yadav, who edged his senior pro by just that bit, grabbing a five-wicket-haul – the third of his career – and triggering an England collapse that saw them lose 7 wickets for 43.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav gave us the moment of the day. (Screengrab)

Ashwin picked up the last wicket – James Anderson out caught for a duck – but as India were about to walk off the field, the senior India spinner’s selfless gesture towards Kuldeep won hearts. Mohammed Siraj and some other teammates wanted to hand over the ball to Ashwin, for scalping 4 wickets in his 100th Test, but Ash insisted that it should be Kuldeep and not him, who should lead the team off the field.

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Also Read: India vs England 5th Test Day 1 Live

After the ball was thrown to Ashwin, he ensured the souvenir was handed back to the man of the hour, Kuldeep. Usually, it’s the bowler with a five-wicket-haul that gets to keep the ball and lead the team off the park, and Ashwin honoured this decade-old practice by making sure the pattern doesn’t break. The two spinners were seen in a tussle before Ashwin eventually won and Kuldeep acknowledged the crowd and the applauds of his teammates. During Kuldeep’s smashing of England, the India wrist-spinner became the fastest Indian to claim 50 wickets, who is playing just his 12th Test.

Watch the moment of the day below:

Kuldeep, Ashwin make short work of England

If Kuldeep started the damage, Ashwin finished it off. In between, Ravindra Jadeja picked up a wicket, but for a chance, Ashwin had a new partner when it came to hunting in pairs. Kuldeep took out the first four England wickets – Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow – before Jadeja trapped Joe Root LBW. The wrist-spinner then roared back with a five-for, pinning Ben Stokes on the backfoot to leave England tottering at 175/6.

With four wickets left, Ashwin took over the ball and wrapped up the tail. Tom Hartley was out caught in the deep and just two balls later, Mark Wood edged to Rohit Sharma at first slip. Ben Foakes and Shoaib Bashir scored some quick runs but England’s luck ran out as Ashwin took out the wicketkeeper and then Anderson to skittle the visiting team out quickly.


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