Ravichandran Ashwin secured his eighth man-of-the-series award of a storied Test career on Saturday after starring in India’s comeback win over England at home that also helped them qualify for the final of the ICC World Championship. Ashwin finished the series with 32 wickets at 14.71 apart from scoring 189 runs.

Ashwin took three five-wicket hauls, scored what turned out to be a match-winning century in the 2nd Test in Chennai. It helped India bounce back from a crushing defeat in the series opener from which they never looked back, improving with each passing day to post massive wins en route to the final.

When asked which is the most pleasing aspect of the series win, Ashwin, during the post-match presentation, replied, “The fact that we qualified for the World Test Championship final is very important.”

He then admitted that after the high of winning the series in Australia, the defeat in Chennai showed the intensity was quite low. “The intensity was low after Chennai, despite the high in Australia. Every time there was a challenging time in the series, someone put their hands up, so this series win was right up there. The last four months have been quite a ride,” he said.

Talking about his run in the past few months, Ashwin said he never expected to hit a century nor was he confident of getting a game in Australia. “I didn’t think I’d make a hundred in Chennai, I went with the flow because my form with the bat wasn’t great. I didn’t think I’d start in the XI in Australia, but after all the injuries, especially to (Ravindra) Jadeja, there was more responsibility on me and I’m content with my performances in Australia and here,’ he said,

“Being desperate is bad, being content is bad, but it’s important for me to be happy, and I’ve stayed on my feet, and worked out batsmen and I’m happy it has worked out well for me,” he added.

The series also saw Rishabh Pant dazzling not only with the bat but also behind the stumps and thus silencing his critics. “I am extremely happy to see him (Pant) succeed. It’s been a little unfair being compared to legends, and the way he’s come out of it and kept in this series has been excellent,” Ashwin said.