Ravichandran Ashwin’s impact for India in Test series in 2016 can be gauged by these numbers in the last five series. He picked up 21 in three Tests against Sri Lanka in August 2015, 31 in four Tests versus South Africa towards the end of 2015, 17 in four games against West Indies in 2016 and 27 in the three-recently concluded Tests against New Zealand. The net result: India, under Virat Kohli, have won all five series.
- Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 27 wickets in four Tests against England
- Ravichandran Ashwin is the leading wicket-taker of 2016, with 71 wickets in 11 games
- Virat Kohli has won five consecutive Test series as captain
Ashwin’s magnificent 2016 has given India plenty to cheer. While Kohli has shattered records with the bat in ongoing Test series against England, the offspinner has clinically run through oppositions with his skills, accuracy and variation. During the Mumbai Test against England at the Wankhede, Ashwin continued his record-breaking run.
Ashwin picked up all four wickets on the final day as India thrashed England by an innings and 36 runs to win a Test series against them after eight years. The offspinner ended with a match haul of 12/167, giving him his 24th five-wicket haul and his seventh 10-wicket haul in Tests. This latest feat has put Ashwin in an elite club.
Best figures by spinner in Wankhede
Ashwin’s match haul of 12/167 is the best haul by an Indian spinner at the Wankhede stadium, beating the previous mark of 12/181 set by Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, which was also achieved against England in 1984. However, the best haul by a bowler at Wankhede is held by England all-rounder Ian Botham, who took 13/106 in the Golden Jubilee Test in 1980. In fact, Botham holds the record for taking a 10-wicket haul and scoring a hundred in the same Test.
Ashwin goes past Kapil Dev
With his 24th five-wicket haul, Ashwin has gone past Kapil Dev in the all-time list of most five-wicket hauls by an Indian bowler in Tests. While Kapil took 131 Tests to take 23 five-wicket hauls, Ashwin has achieved it in a remarkable 43 Tests. Only Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble are ahead of the Chennai off-spinner. India are slated to play a further six Tests until March 2017 and this gives Ashwin a good opportunity to close the gap with Kumble, who is the current coach of the Indian team.
If one looks at 10-wicket hauls, then he is only one behind Kumble’s mark of eight. Ashwin has a chance to eclipse Kumble’s record in the coming matches. Muttiah Muralitharan leads the pack with 22 ten-wicket hauls in 133 Tests.
Best haul in a calendar year by an Indian
With India slated to play one more Test in 2016, Ashwin has a chance to break an Indian record for the most Test wickets in a calendar year. The current record is held by Kumble, who took 74 wickets in 2004 in 12 Tests. Ashwin, who is the leading wicket-taker in Tests in 2016, has 71 wickets in 11 games and heading into the Chennai Test, he stands a good chance of going past Kumble’s mark. The overall list is headed by Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, who took a staggering 96 wickets in 15 Tests in 2005.
With Ashwin in great form with the ball and Virat Kohli in staggering form with the bat, India are all set to continue the good times in the 2016/17 season.