R Ashwin made an immediate impact on return to the Test XI by picking up his 27th 5-wicket haul on Day 3 of the ongoing 1st Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam. Ashwin showed signs of his vintage self by getting the wicket of South Africa wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock with a beauty that had flight, dip and turn.

R Ashwin returned to the Test XI after nearly an year’s time out of the set-up. Ashwin found himself out of the Test XI due to niggles after just one Test in Australia and the star off-spinner was not included in the side for the 2-Test series in West Indies. Despite having been picked in the squad, India went in with Ravindra Jadeja as their only spinner in the Caribbean.

As Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock’s superb knocks of 160 and 111 respectively ensured South Africa’s fightback on day three of Vizag Test, Ashwin finished with his 27th fifer to bring the hosts right back into the game in the last session.

When asked on why did he stop watching the game for a while, Ashwin came up with a cheeky response as he went on to say: “For starters, I have two kids who don’t sleep….who don’t sleep all that well in nights. Jokes apart, I felt everytime I watched a game on TV, I felt like I wanted to play the game and I was missing out. I mean it’s very natural. I think everybody goes through it. I generally tried to d o a few other things in my life as well. Books, a bit of archaelogy work, stuff like that. I enjoyed it.”

His remarks came after the close of play on day three. South Africa ended the day at a score of 385/8, still trailing India by 117 runs. Ashwin also lauded South Africa batsmen Quinton de Kock and Dean Elgar, saying the credit needs to be given where it is due.

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