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The rise and rise of R Ashwin continues

The Indian Express logoThe Indian Express 12-12-2016
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Ravichandran Ashwin delivered yet another match-winning performance to give India a comprehensive win over England in the fourth Test, 3-0 winning lead in the five-Test series. The offie completed his 24th career five-wicket haul in the process and is one short of equalling Harbhajan Singh’s tally of 25 Test five-wicket hauls. He has some distance to travel to match India coach Anil Kumble’s 35 fifers.

Ashwin took less than an hour to run through England’s lower order and hand India their fifth consecutive series win under Virat Kohli. It was only a third time in Test history that a team had made 400 in the first innings and then lost by an innings. Series surrendered, England have only pride at stake when the two teams meet in the final Test starting in Chennai on December 16.

Full scorecard: India vs England, 4th Test

India’s premier off-spinner’s purple patch extends and he continues to break, and create, records in the process. He became the fastest Indian to 200 Test wickets and since January 2015, Ashwin has taken five wickets or more in an innings 14 times in 20 Tests – the most by any bowler during this period. The pace at which he achieves his success is even greater, he has taken 18 five-wicket hauls in 26 home Tests, equalling the same tally achieved by Harbhajan in 55 tests. Ashwin is still behind Kumble, who has 25 in 63 Tests.

© AP Photo

Impressively, Ashwin is also the quickest to five 10-wicket match hauls for India. Harbhajan and Kumble got there in their 68th and 81st Tests, respectively.

The number one all-rounder in the world has also stamped his authority with the bat to become the third Indian to take 50 wickets and score over 500 runs in Tests in a calendar year. Ashwin has climbed the ladder to become India’s most successful Indian bowler at home in the last two years. His statistics speak for themselves as the o-ff spinner has bagged 48 wickets for India in 2016 thus far, the most by any Indian spinner, speeding ahead of the previous record of 46 wickets, held by Erapalli Prasanna in 1969. Ashwin is India’s seventh highest wicket-taker in Tests with 241 scalps, behind Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (242) and Bishan Singh Bedi (266).

The spinner seems to hit the jackpot each time as he has managed to bag seven Man of the Series, four of them being back-to-back. This is the most by any Indian in the Test format. The value of these achievements can be understood by inferring who he has surpassed – the likes of Indian legends namely Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Kapil Dev, Harbhajan Singh, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly. He has also completed the all-round double of secoring 1000 runs and 100 wickets in India, making him the fifth player to achieve such a feat.

Slideshow: 25 world records held by Indians in Test cricket

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