Ashwin nears 100th Test: 5 mind-blowing records that define IND legend's career | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Ravichandran Ashwin nears 100th Test: Five mind-blowing records that define India legend's blockbuster career

Mar 03, 2024 03:53 PM IST

Ravichandran Ashwin will become the 77th cricketer in Test history to feature in 100 matches in the traditional format and the 14th from India.

After England captain Ben Stokes reached the milestone in the third match of the five-Test series in Rajkot, veteran India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is all set to play his 100th Test match in the fifth and final game of the contest at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala. Ashwin will become the 77th cricketer in Test history to feature in 100 matches in the traditional format and the 14th from India. The last Indian player to achieve this memorable feat was Cheteshwar Pujara, in the second Test match of the 2023 Border-Gavaskar series in New Delhi.

India's bowler Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates the wicket of England's batter Joe Root during the fourth day of the second Test match(PTI)
India's bowler Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates the wicket of England's batter Joe Root during the fourth day of the second Test match(PTI)

Having made his debut in 2011, in a home Test against West Indies, Ashwin has scored 3309 runs in 140 innings, which includes five centuries and 14 fifties, and picked up 507 wickets in 187 innings at 23.91. The 37-year-old belongs to an elite league of Test all-rounders who have achieved the double of 3000 runs and 300 wickets. The legendary Kapil Dev is the other Indian player on the list, with 5248 runs and 434 wickets in 131 appearances.

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Ahead of Ashwin's 100th appearance in Test cricket for India, we take a look at five mind-blowing records that defined his illustrious career.

Most player-of-the-series awards

"In my opinion he is one the greatest match winner for India. There have been very few match-winners like him. The number of matches he has helped us win what can I say,” Team India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said in July 2023, after Ashwin bounced back from being dropped from India XI for WTC final to pick 12 wickets in the emphatic innings victory against the West Indies in Dominica.

Perhaps the stat that illustrates Mhambrey's opinion is that Ashwin won 11 Player of the Series awards in his career spanning almost 13 years where he played 41 series. It is the most by any Indian player, with Virender Sehwag being next-best India with five such awards, and the second-most in the world, after Sri Lanka spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan (11).

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Across 99 Tests so far, Ashwin has won nine Player of the Match awards, the fourth-best among Indians, with Virat Kohli, Anil Kumble and Ravindra Jadeja tied at second spot with 10 such awards, while Sachin Tendulkar (14) sits at the top of the list.

Most number of five-wicket and ten-wicket hauls for India

With greatness of a player comes great expectations from fans. Seldom has Ashwin underperformed compared to other spinners in home conditions, or gone without a five-wicket haul. In the ongoing series against England, Ashwin did not pick up a fifer in the first three matches, with his average raising a few eyebrows. But the senior spinner shut all the talks with a sensational five-wicket haul in Ranchi, in the fourth Test against England, to help India win the match. It was his 35th career fifer, the joint-most by an Indian player alongside Kumble. He also has eight ten-wicket hauls to his name, the joint-fifth most in the world alongside Kumble.

Fastest to 250, 300, 350 wickets

Ashwin holds the record for being the quickest Indian bowler (in terms of innings) to pick 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 450 and 500 wickets in Tests. However, he also leads the chart for being the fastest in Test history to 250, 300, 350 wickets.

Most calendar years with 50-plus wickets

Four times in his career Ashwin amassed 50 or more wickets in a single calendar year - 54 wickets in 2021, 56 wickets in 2017, 72 wickets in 2016 and 62 wickets in 2015. It is the most by an Indian bowler and fifth-best in the world after Shane Warne (7), Muralitharan (6), Glenn McGrath (5), and Rangana Herath (4).

Ashwin the all-rounder: 100 and five-wicket haul

The veteran India star is the only cricketer from the country to record the double of a century and five-wicket haul in a single Test match thrice in his career - 103 runs and 5/156 in Mumbai against West Indies in 2011, 113 runs and 7/83 in Antigua versus West Indies in 2016, and 106 runs and 5/43 in Chennai versus England in 2021. The only other player in world cricket to have achieved this double more than Ashwin is England great Ian Botham, who did it four times in his career.

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