3rd Test: Ashwin becomes second Indian bowler to pick 500 Test wickets

Rajkot: Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has become just the second Indian bowler and ninth overall to pick 500 wickets in Test cricket. Ashwin achieved the milestone during the ongoing third Test match against England at the Niranjan Shah Stadium in Rajkot on Friday.

The off-spinner was on 499 scalps at the end of the second Test in Visakhapatnam and completed his 500th scalp with the wicket of Zak Crawley, who top edged a sweep to short fine leg, ending an 89-run opening partnership, on day two of the third Test. Ravichandran Ashwin was then swarmed by his team-mates to congratulate him on achieving the monumental feat.

“From Chennai to the cricketing cosmos, @ashwinravi99’s journey to 500 Test wickets is a saga of grit, guile, and unrivaled skill. A monumental achievement that cements his legacy in the annals of cricketing history. Bravo, Ashwin!” wrote veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik on ‘X’.

Ashwin is the ninth bowler in Test history to breach the 500-wicket barrier, and the only one from India since the legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who took 619 wickets in 132 Tests. Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708), James Anderson (695), Anil Kumble (619), Stuart Broad (604), Glenn McGrath (563), Courtney Walsh (519) and Nathan Lyon (517) are ahead of him in the list of highest wicket-takers in Test history.

“500 Test wickets for a one-in-a-million bowler! In AshWIN the SpinNER, there was always a WINNER. 500 wickets is a huge milestone in Test cricket. Congratulations, Champion!” wrote legendary India batter Sachin Tendulkar on ‘X’.

Ashwin achieved the 500 wickets feat in 98 Test matches, making him the second-quickest in Test history to the milestone after Muralitharan, Sri Lanka’s legendary off-spinner, who did so in 87 Tests. Each of the other seven bowlers took more than 100 Test matches to get to the milestone.

Ashwin, who made his Test debut against the West Indies at New Delhi in November 2011, has been India’s strike bowler in Tests, particularly at home, where 347 of his 500 wickets have come.

On the eve of the Test, teammate Ravindra Jadeja had cheekily commented that it was Ashwin’s ‘destiny’ to complete the milestone at the all-rounder’s home ground in Rajkot. “I am very happy for him, I have been playing with him for years. I thought he would get it in the first test match, but it’s okay, it is destiny that he will get it here in my hometown.”

Ashwin has 34 five-wicket hauls and eight 10-wicket match hauls in his Test career. James Anderson, Lyon and Ashwin are the only active bowlers to have more than 400 wickets in Test cricket. From Ashwin’s 500 wickets, 277 have been caught, including 12 of them being caught and bowled dismissals, followed by 110 lbws, 100 bowled, and 13 stumped scalps.


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