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Ravichandran Ashwin hopes to reach 600 wickets after record show vs Sri Lanka

Ravichandran Ashwin, who became the fastest to reach 300 wickets in Tests, is hopeful of doubling the tally in the coming years after spinning Indian cricket team to a record innings and 239-run win versus Sri Lanka in Nagpur.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Nov 27, 2017 17:07 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
India vs Sri Lanka,Ravichandran Ashwin,India national cricket team
Ravichandran Ashwin created a world record as he became the fastest to 300 wickets, taking only 54 Tests to reach the mark. The previous best was Dennis Lillee who took 56 Tests to reach the landmark.(AP)

R Ashwin, who on Monday became the fastest to 300 Test wickets eclipsing Dennis Lillee, was modest in acknowledging the feat. The off-spinner reached the mark in 54 Tests bettering the former Australian pacer, who had achieved 300 scalps in 56 matches. (IND v SL 2nd Test HIGHLIGHTS)

Ashwin’s phenomenal success rate -- 26 five-wicket hauls and seven 10-wicket hauls, has seen him get anointed as a modern great. It has naturally led to comparisons with the legends of the game, but Ashwin said the current bowlers are better off because of better facilities. (IND v SL 2nd Test SCORECARD)

“We are a bit more blessed than the other greats. We have technology to help. We have help with our fitness. So we shouldn’t compare.”

“I really hope I can go on to double these 300 wickets, I’ve only played 50 Tests,” said Ashwin after the game.

If you were looking to judge Ashwin’s quality, the last four wickets on Monday, that fetched him an eight-wicket haul for the match, were not an indicator as they came easy. It was his performance on the opening day of the second Test that oozed class as he ran through the Sri Lanka batting on a flat track to pick four wickets.

The 31-year-old attributed his success to the long break as well as his stint with Worcestershire in English County cricket.

“It’s not easy bowling spin, it looks like you’re just ambling up. But there’s a lot behind it. We’ve bowled a lot of overs, me and Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja). And the break (being rested from the limited overs teams) has helped. I’m a lot fresher now comparatively,” added the off-spinner, who also reached 50 wickets for the year 2017 during the second innings.

The Tamil Nadu spinner never ceases to surprise the batsmen by continuing to evolve and adding to his variations. This season will be a good test for him once India start travelling abroad, starting with the South Africa tour and Ashwin is keen to test himself.

“I’ve worked on different releases for it and now that we are travelling, I think I needed that extra bit. It has been a longer break than I’ve been used to over the last few years. But I did have a good stint in Worcester and I learnt a lot of things. As you can see, I’ve worked on different loadings, different actions. It’s also helped my patience, wickets haven’t come quickly.”

Explaining what makes Ashwin such a great bowler, teammate Rohit Sharma said: “He knows exactly what he’s doing, and he works according to his plans, which I think works for him. It’s always important that you stay within your limits (understands his strengths and weaknesses) and Ashwin is doing that.”

“In the last five-six years, he’s been one of the match-winners for the team. The way he’s brought the team back from difficult situations, hats off, and I hope he continues and wish him all the luck.”

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 15:37 IST