Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday surpassed Harbhajan Singh to become the second-highest wicket-taker in Tests played in India.
Ashwin got past Harbhajan, who took 265 wickets in India at an average of 28.76, by dismissing Ben Stokes on the second day of the second Test match against England at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Ashwin is now only behind Anil Kumble, who is at the top of the list with 350 wickets.
"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," Ashwin said at a virtual post-day press conference.
"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," he added.
According to Ashwin, a lot of his teammates, when he was young, would make fun of him as he used to try bowling like Harbhajan.
"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 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...," said Ashwin.
Meanwhile, Harbhajan congratulated Ashwin and wished the 34-year-old breaks many more records.
"You are a champion @ashwinravi99. I wish you many more records far bigger than this.. keep it up.. More power to you brother. God bless," he tweeted.