IND vs NZ 2nd Test: R Ashwin closing in on 3 huge milestones as Kumble, Harbhajan and Hadlee's records in danger
- Ashwin awaits not one but three massive milestones in the second Test against New Zealand, which will begins from December 3 at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.
Four days after becoming India's third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, surpassing veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin now awaits not one but three massive milestones in the second Test against New Zealand, which will begin from December 3 at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.
Ashwin picked six wickets in the Kanpur Test which took his tally to 44 wickets in 14 innings in 2021. Only once has he gone wicketless in an innings this calendar year, in the first innings in Sydney against Australia in January. The tally has left him tied with Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who has picked as many wickets as the veteran spinner, in eight Tests.
If Ashwin picks six more wickets in the second Test, it will be the fourth time he will achieve the feat in a calendar year, which is the most by an Indian, having earlier picked 62 wickets in 2015, 72 wickets in 2016 and 56 wickets in 2016. Presently, he stands tied with Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble with three each.
Ashwin also remains eight wickets short of joining Kumble in an elusive 300-wicket club. Eight more wickets will help Ashwin reach the tally of 300 wickets in Tests at home. Only the legendary leg-spinner has more wickets in India - 350.
The same tally will also help Ashwin surpass New Zealand great Richard Hadlee for the most wickets in the rivalry contest. Having earlier surpassed Bishan Singh Bedi with his six wickets in Kanpur to become India's highest wicket-taker in the contest, Ashwin now stands eight wickets short of taking the top spot. Hadlee had picked 65 wickets in 14 Tests against India.
Ashwin is also one short of having most wickets at a single venue in Tests. He now has 30 wickets each at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium. In four Tests at the venue, Ashwin has picked three five-fors and he has a ten-wicket haul.
Earlier in Kanpur, Ashwin became India's third-highest wicket-taker in the format with 419 wickets, standing behind Kumble and the legendary Kapil Dev.
Hailing Ashwin's impressive feat, head coach Rahul Dravid had said, "I think it's a phenomenal achievement. I think you know Harbhajan Singh was a really fine bowler, someone I played a lot of cricket with; terrific bowler for India and what Ashwin has done, to be able to go past him in just 80 Test matches is a phenomenal achievement."