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India's Ravichandran Ashwin (3rd from left) gestures next to teammates during a practice session at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on Tuesday. Image Credit: AFP

Dharamsala: India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said Tuesday he did not share his family’s excitement for his 100th Test appearance, adding a series-ending win over England was more important to him than “just a number”.

Ashwin, 37, is set to reach the landmark in the fifth and final match of England’s tour starting Thursday in the brisk Himalayan hill town of Dharamsala.

“It does not mean anything to me,” he told reporters. It means a lot to my wife and my mom. My daughters are more excited than I am. It’s just a number.”

Rare milestone

The off-spinner already passed the rare milestone of 500 wickets in the third match of the series, which India has already won 3-1.

He left that match midway to be with his ailing mother before returning to be part of India’s victory in Rajkot, acknowledging the strain his career had put on his loved ones.

“Playing Indian cricket for such a long time and being on the road, the kind of sacrifice the family makes is enormous.”

Ashwin, an engineering graduate who hails from the southern city of Chennai, started out as a batsman and bowled medium-pace before switching to off-spin.

He made his Test debut in 2011 and has 507 wickets including 35 five-wicket hauls in 99 matches.

Special journey

Ashwin said despite his personal milestone, he looks forward to another victory to finish on 4-1.

“More than the destination, the journey has been very special,” said Ashwin.

“It is a journey of up and downs, a lot of learnings. But it doesn’t change anything as far as playing a Test match is concerned. 3-1 scoreline is on the board and despite the scoreline, you want to win every Test match.”

Ashwin, an all-rounder with five Test centuries while batting in the middle and lower-order, has often had to compete with fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja for a place in the XI.

“It’s always disappointing to not play a particular game for your country, especially when you were doing well,” he said.

“But you got to make peace with it because it was in the best interest of the team. Not many teams in the world has what India has got,” he said.

When asked about the batsmen who challenged him the most over his career, Ashwin said he “loved bowling to Steve Smith, (Kane) Williamson and Joe Root”.