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Ravichandran Ashwin shatters records with 23rd five-wicket haul

India Today logo India Today 09-12-2016

Ravichandran Ashwin's dream run in 2016 continues as the off-spinner today bagged his 23rd five-wicket haul on the second day of the fourth Test between India and England at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.

The 30-year-old lanky Tamil Nadu tweaker got rid of Ben Stokes early on the day as India, who are leading the five-Test rubber 2-0, look to seal the series.

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Ashwin also equalled legends Dennis Lillee, Imran Khan and Kapil Dev's record of 23 five-fors and is now the third best Indian in the list of bowlers with most five-wicket hauls in Tests, behind Anil Kumble (35) and Harbhajan Singh (25).

Ashwin has been India's most successful Test bowler at home in the last two years, ahead of Jadeja and leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

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Ashwin's wicket of Stokes today was his 47th in Tests in India in 2016 - the most by any Indian spinner in a calendar year at home. The previous record was 46 by Erapalli Prasanna in 1969. As compared to the seamers, Ashwin's tally is second to only Kapil Dev's 58 in 1979.

Ashwin, who is the world No.1 Test bowler and the No.1 all-rounder, has been in terrific form this year. In 11 matches, he has picked 64 wickets, including seven five-wicket hauls.

Ashwin, who is the quickest Indian and second-fastest in the world to reach the 200-wicket mark in Tests, became the third Indian to take more than 50 wickets and score in excess of 500 runs in Tests in a calendar year.

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Only Vinoo Mankad in 1952 and Kapil Dev in 1979 and 1983 respectively have been able to achieve the feat in the past. Ashwin is only the seventh allrounder in the world to achieve the feat.

He also completed the allround double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in India, thus becoming only the fifth player to accomplish this feat.

Ashwin has risen to the top of the ICC Test bowling rankings on the back of seven Man of the Series performances, four of them being back-to-back. 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.

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