India Vs Sri Lanka: India’s spin-spearhead R Ashwin has notched up yet another milestone. Clinching the wicket of Lahiru Gamage, the Chennai-born off-spinner, not only made India win a match against Sri Lanka by an inning and 239 runs but also helped him reach 300 wickets in the least number of matches. A fantastic carrom ball which would have got the better of many a batsman, flicked off the stumps of Gamage making Ashwin the proud owner of a new record. Ashwin has achieved this remarkable feat playing just 54 Test matches. While legendary Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee had achieved the feat in 56 matches, Ashwin did it in his 54th match. With this, Ashwin also completed 50 Test wickets in 2017 calendar year. Earlier, Ashwin eclipsed Lillee’s record by taking 250 wickets in the least number of Test matches. He has become the fifth Indian bowler after Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434), Harbhajan Singh (417), Zaheer Khan (311) to claim 300 test match wickets. Ashwin had also surpassed Pakistan great Waqar Younis and Lillee to become the second fastest bowler to claim 200 Test wickets during the first Test against New Zealand in September last year. Ashwin achieved the milestone in his 37th Test match, bettering Waqar and Lillee, who both took 38 Tests. The No.1 spot is still held by former Australia leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett.
Interestingly, the claim to fame for the 31-year-old off spinner, who has become an integral part of the Indian test squad, was the 2010 Indian Premier League in which he played for the Chennai Super Kings. He was the leading wicket-taker and player of the tournament of the 2010 Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa. He was also part of the Indian squad that won the 2011 Cricket World Cup. There has been no turning back for Ashwin since then. With four centuries in his Test career so far, Ashwin has earned the reputation of being a bowling all-rounder. He was a recipient of the Arjuna Award in 2014 and the BCCI’s international cricketer of the year for the 2012–13 season. He also won the ICC Cricketer of the year 2016 along with ICC Test Cricketer of the year 2016 in December 2016.
Ashwin, who made his debut for India in November 2011, has been India’s main strike bowler in Test cricket over the last three years. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner has not been a regular in India’s limited-overs squads but he is surely skipper Virat Kohli’s go-to-man in the Test cricket.