India offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been hailed as a modern-day legend by his Test captain Virat Kohli after becoming just the fourth bowler from his country to reach the milestone of 400 wickets in the format. Ashwin has thus made entry into an elite club that boasts of the likes of Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and Harbhajan Singh.

“I think we need to stand up and take notice of what Ashwin has done. In Tests, he is a modern-day legend. As a captain, I am so pleased he is in my team,” Kohli said after India crushed England by 10 wickets in the third Test to take 2-1 lead in the four-match series in Motera on Thursday.

With the wicket of Jofra Archer, Ashwin touched the milestone of 400 wickets – the second fastest to reach there after Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan. In 77 Tests, he now has 401 wickets at an average of 24.95 including 29 five-wicket hauls as well.

“It feels amazing actually,” the 34-year-old said after claiming the landmark wicket. “The entire stadium stood up and clapped for me. Pleased it happened in the winning cause. I can’t really get a grip of what has happened in the last 2-3 months. It has been a dreamy run and a fairy-tale.”

He continued, “It has been all about self-belief. At the start of the Australian tour, I didn’t think I would be starting, but then (Ravindra) Jadeja broke down and it might have had to happen. I think my bowling is coming beautifully, I thought I was bowling well in the IPL.”

Ashwin termed the win as ‘extra special’ considering how his team bounced back after losing the series opener.

When asked what keeps him motivated, he replied, “People are asking the same question. I want to keep improving, that’s what motivates me a lot.”

The fourth and final Test starts from March 4.