India vs England: Ravichandran Ashwin on Verge of Becoming Second Fastest Bowler to Pick 400 Wickets, England Captain Joe Root Calls India Spinner ‘World-Class Bowler’

If Ashwin joins club 400 in the pink-ball Test at Motera, he would reach the mark in his 77th Test.

Updated: February 23, 2021 8:00 PM IST

By Sports Desk | Edited by Aditya Chauhan

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Ashwin on verge of 400 Test wickets, set to become 2nd quickest to mark©PTI

India’s ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is on the verge of breaking another massive bowling milestone as he gears up for the upcoming third Test against England, scheduled to be played at the newly-built Sardar Patel Stadium from February 24. Ashwin, currently on 394 Test wickets, will be aiming to become the second-fastest bowler to pick up 400 wickets. If Ashwin picks up six or more wickets in the pink-ball Test at Motera, he will beat the likes of Sir Richard Hadlee of New Zealand and Dale Steyn of South Africa, who are tied at the second position. Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan is at the top of the list as he had took 72 Tests to claim 400 wickets.

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Meanwhile, both Steyn and Hadlee had taken 80 Tests to touch the 400-mark. If Ashwin joins club 400 in the Day-Night Test, he would reach the mark in his 77th Test. The 34-year-old Ashwin will also become the sixth spinner to take 400 wickets and will become only be the third Indian spinner to get to the mark after Anil Kumble (619) and Harbhajan Singh (417).

In the second Test at Chepauk, Ashwin pipped Harbhajan to become the second most prolific spinner for India at home. He now has 266 victims at home in the traditional format of the game in just 45 Tests at an average of 22.64. Former India captain Kumble leads the list with 350 wickets from 62 matches in India.

Ashwin proved to be England’s nemesis in the first two Tests and, well aware of his abilities now, visiting skipper Joe Root on Tuesday described the India off-spinner as a ‘world-class performer’ in all conditions. He had already taken 17 wickets in the series so far and is expected to add some more to his kitty in the third Test beginning here on Wednesday.

“Yeah, he (Ashwin) is a world-class performer. I think it’s been quite tricky for everyone but as you mentioned, in particular, the left-handers is against him… because you know how skilful he is, how good his record is against left-handers in world cricket,” Root said.

Ashwin has been Virat Kohli’s go-to man in this series. Besides his nine wickets in the first Test and eight in second, Ashwin has also scored a century on a Chepuak track, where most of the specialist batsmen struggled against the turning ball.

“So, he is a fine performer at home and guys just have to keep working hard to try and figure out how they’re going to score every run,” Root added.

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Published Date: February 23, 2021 7:39 PM IST

Updated Date: February 23, 2021 8:00 PM IST