When spinner Ravichandran Ashwin caught Trent Boult off his own bowling in Indore on Tuesday evening, it was a befitting end to a game he dominated and also won for India, who crushed New Zealand again to win the Test series 3-0.
Boult’s was Ashwin’s seventh wicket of the second innings and 13th of the match, giving the off-spinner his career best figures of 13/140 as Kohil and Co. beat the visitors by 321 runs in the third Test.
When New Zealand’s wrecker-in-chief’s bowling figures are stacked against the Test spinners who have operated in the last 100 years and taken 100 wickets or more, the 30-year-old engineer leads the pack.
Ashwin’s Test strike rate of 49.4 is the best for any Test spinner who has 100 wickets or more in the last 100 years.
A bowler’s strike-rate is the average number of balls bowled between two wickets. Simply put, Ashwin gets a player out after every 50 (49.4) balls that he sends down the pitch.
Take a look at the top 25 in the list.
Only Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath and Australia’s Nathan Lyon are the active players who feature in the Top 10. The next Indian on the list is BS Chandrasekhar at the 13th spot followed by Anil Kumble. Lanka’s Muthaiah Muralitharan and Australia’s Shane Warne, considered the greatest spinners to have ever played the game, take fifth and sixth spot.
If the 100-year limit is set aside, Ashwin is still quite the player. In the all-time Test list, he is third, behind two English bowlers - Johnny Briggs, Colin Blythe - who operated before 1910.