Was made fun of for bowling like Bhajju Pa: Ravichandran Ashwin

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed that his teammates used to make fun of him because he used to bowl like Harbhajan Singh during his early years in cricket.

The 34-year-old made the disclosure after breaking Harbhajan’s record among Indian bowlers with the most Test wickets at home. The ‘Turbanator’ picked up 265 wickets in India at an average of 28.76.

Following England’s first innings, Ashwin now has 268 wickets to his name at an average of 22.54. Speaking at a press conference post Day 2 of the second Test against England, Ravichandran Ashwin narrated:

“Lot of my teammates from that age, from that generation, you know, used to make fun of me, because I used to bowl like Bhajju Pa, my action, I used to try and bowl like him and all that.

“So, from there on to come one and actually break the record of something that he possesses, has to be incredibly special. I didn’t know of it, now that I do know of it, I feel happy. Sorry, Bhajju Pa…,”.

Ravichandran Ashwin claimed excellent figures of 5 for 43 as India rolled England over for 134 in response to their first-innings total of 329. The offie went past Harbhajan when he cleaned up Ben Stokes for 18.

Reacting to the record, Ravichandran Ashwin candidly admitted that as a budding cricketer, he wasn’t even sure if he would go on to play for India. He recalled:

“When I was watching the 2001 series where Bhajju Pa (Harbhajan) was playing, I didn’t even imagine that I would go out and become an off-spinner for the country. I was still a batsman for my state, trying to accelerate a career towards batting and playing for the country, I wasn’t sure whether I would go on and become a player for the Indian team.”

Reacting to Ravichandran Ashwin’s record, Harbhajan termed him a “champion bowler” and wished him many more successes. The 40-year-old tweeted:

Ravichandran Ashwin is now second on the list of Indian bowlers with the most Test wickets at home. Anil Kumble leads the pack, having scalped 350 wickets in home Tests.

Playing in his 76th Test, Ravichandran Ashwin has so far claimed a total of 391 wickets at an average of 25.26, with 29 five-wicket hauls.

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