Ravichandran Ashwin, currently on 394 Test wickets, is on the verge of becoming the second-fastest bowler to pick 400 wickets.
Ashwin is on Verge of Picking 400 Test Wickets
If Ashwin can take six or more wickets in the 3rd Test between India and England starting later this week, he will beat Sir Richard Hadlee of New Zealand and Dale Steyn of South Africa, who are tied at the second position.
Steyn and Hadlee had taken 80 Tests to reach the mark. If Ashwin joins club 400 in the Day/Night Test in Motera, he would reach the mark in his 77th Test. Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan is at the top of the list as he had taken 72 Tests to claim 400 wickets.
Additionally, Ashwin will become the sixth spinner to take 400 wickets, and will only be the third Indian spinner to get to the mark after Anil Kumble (619) and Harbhajan Singh (417).
In the course of his match-winning performance in the 2nd Test, Ashwin overtook Harbhajan to become the second most prolific spinner for India at home. He now has 266 victims at home in the longest format of the game in just 45 Tests at an outstanding average of 22.64. Former India captain Anil Kumble leads the list with 350 wickets from 62 matches in India.
Gambhir Praises Ashwin
Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected chat show, former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir said that it is unfortunate that the India off-spinner is not a part of the white-ball scheme of things.
“Someone who is coming close to taking 400 wickets and the same time getting five Test hundreds and still not being part of the white-ball scheme of things is very unfortunate. He is just a class act,” Gambhir said.
“He is just a quality bowler and his subtle variations. The amount of cricket he has played and the longevity he has played with and still the kind of impact he has had, it is just unbelievable,” Gambhir added.
Ashish Nehra praises Ashwin
Former India pacer Ashish further praised Ashwin and said that the 33-year-old is a good student of the game.
“This is not the first time that Ravichandran Ashwin has made such a big impact when you are playing at home. When you talk about how he is so different, first thing of course he has so much experience and so much confidence when you are playing at home, when he knows these wickets are going to be helpful to him,” Nehra said.
Ashwin is currently in the 11 man squad of the Virat Kohli led Indian team which faces England in a 4 match test series. India equals the series by 1-1 where the third match is scheduled to play on February 24 at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad.