ANI Photo | “Ashwin is probably one of the fittest I have known”: Cheteshwar Pujara

Star India batter Cheteshwar Pujara spoke about off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s fitness ahead of spinner’s 100th Test as the Rohit Sharma-led side lock horns with England in the fifth and final match of the five-match series which will kickstart on Thursday at Dharamsala.
Ashwin has so far snapped 17 wickets in the four matches he has participated in the ongoing five-match Test series against England at an average of 30.41. He is currently the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the series.
The Saurashtra-born cricketer asserted that bowling fitness is most important when you play Tests and according to him, Ashwin is the fittest cricketer in the world.
“When you are playing the longer format, bowling fitness is the most important thing, and Ash is probably one of the fittest I have known. If he ends up bowling 30, 35, 40 overs in a day, when he bowls again the next morning, his body might be a little fatigued, but he still has the stamina to carry on,” Pujara wrote in his column on ESPNcricinfo.
The 36-year-old further spoke about his friendship with Ashwin and said that he is a “voracious reader”.
“We became close friends by talking cricket. Most times we are on the same side, but you can never win an argument against him. He is very smart, and his vocabulary is probably among the best in the cricketing fraternity. I wish I had his incredible memory. That is probably because he has a mind that is always ticking. Away from cricket, he is a voracious reader, enjoys chess online, and is open to learning new things,” the right-hand batter further wrote.
Earlier, the off-spinner was on 499 scalps at the end of the second Test in Vizag and completed his 500th with the wicket of Zak Crawley on Day 2 of the third Test.
The spin maestro became the second Indian, after former spinner Anil Kumble, and ninth overall to take 500 wickets in Test cricket.
Ashwin is the ninth bowler in Test history to reach 500 wickets and Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, and Nathan Lyon are the only spinners who have taken more wickets than him in Test history. (ANI)

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