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Ravichandran Ashwin breaks Waqar Younis' record, becomes second fastest to take 200 Test wickets

India Today logo India Today 25-09-2016
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In what is turning out to be a record-breaking year for India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, the 30-year-old today surpassed legends Waqar Younis and Dennis Lillee to become the second fastest bowler to claim 200 Test wickets.

Ashwin achieved the milestone in his 37th Test match, bettering Waqar and Lillee, who both took 38 Tests.

The No.1 spot is held by former Australia leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett, who took just 36 Tests to get to the 200th wicket mark.

The world No.1 all-rounder, who was seven wickets away from hitting the 200-wicket mark, went wicketless on Day 2 of the ongoing first Test against New Zealand at Kanpur and it took him 16.5 overs to get his first scalp.

Ashwin dismissed four frontline batsmen on Day 3 and along with Ravindra Jadeja, who bagged his career's fifth five-wicket haul, dismantled New Zealand for 262 in the first innings.

Thereafter, in the second innings, Ashwin snared three more wickets to reach the landmark. After India declared their second innings at 377/5, setting the visitors a daunting target of 434 runs, Ashwin removed Black Caps openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham in his second over and reached the milestone by dismissing captain Kane Williamson trapped lbw in his ninth over.

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Ashwin has been in terrific form this year and is winning India matches not only with his exceptional bowling but also by batting brilliantly. Ashwin is also India's most successful Test bowler at home in the last two years, ahead of Jadeja and leg-spinner Amit Mishra. In the last five Test matches at home, Ashwin has grabbed a whopping 35 wickets, including 4 five-wicket hauls, at an average of 12.51.

Recently, in the Test series against West Indies, the world No.1 all-rounder in the longest format set a plethora of records.

In the four-match series, Ashwin scored 235 runs with two centuries and claimed 17 wickets to help India register their biggest Test series victory on the Caribbean soil with a 2-0 win over the West Indies.

The leader of India's spin attack also bagged the Man-of-the-Series award - the sixth of his career - for his special performance. The feat is the most by any Indian in the longest format of the game, surpassing the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Kapil Dev, Harbhajan Singh, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly.

Ashwin was also the quickest to reach the milestone. It took him just 36 Test matches and 13 series to win his 6th MoS, sailing past Malcolm Marshall (21 series), Curtly Ambrose (27) and Steve Waugh (54), who all have won the equal number of player of the series honours.

Both Tendulkar (74) and Sehwag (39) have five awards each in Test cricket.

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