New Delhi: Crediting Test captain Virat Kohli for backing him as a frontline tweaker, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has said that the young cricket leader has always helped his teammates cross barriers.
Ashwin, who played a leading role (21 wickets in 3 matches) in India's 2-1 series win against Sri Lanka early this month, said that his captain's trust on his ability worked well for him.
"I want to be the best in whatever I do. I have reiterated this all the time. Even if I am being a bus conductor or driver I want to be the best in the world. So this particular fact that me and him (Virat) act on similar lines really helps," Ashwin told a news channel.
"Whenever he hands the ball over, I can be rest assured that I will get what I want and I am always backed. And that's something that's not just between me and him. I think he has done that with everybody in the team. Whoever he has backed, he has backed them and helped them cross barriers," he added.
A young Indian team came from behind to clinch the rubber for the first time on Sri Lankan soil in 22 years and Ashwin is not happy with critics trying to take away the credit by terming the Angleo Mathews-led unit a weak side.
"If we want to take away the credit from what we have achieved then I think it's a fair enough assessment. When there is credit due then I think you should give it and when you are due for criticism then you have got to take it lying down," he said.
"If you see both the line-ups of the two teams then they were very similar. Both cricket teams had similar number of cricket matches under their belt. So I don't see any reason why you want to take away from the fact that it was a great effort to win a series, coming back from 0-1," he said.
A lot was also said about Ishant Sharma's unnecessary aggression in the series that cost the pace spearhead a one-match Test ban. Ashwin though defended his teammate and believed the pacer will only come out stronger.
"I think every body needs to be who they are. Everybody playing cricket wants to be aggressive. Some people are aggressive from within, some people are more expressive. But whatever happens in life, there needs to be lesson learnt and Ishant was aggressive, he won the Test match for us," he said.
"No taking away things from him. He might have overstepped the line but that doesn't mean we go overboard and have a go at him. I think he will learn from this experience and I am very confident he will come back being aggressive and being controlled aggressive and win a lot more games for us," he added.