And so, just after becoming the quickest bowler to reach 300 wickets in Test history and guiding India to a massive win by an innings and 239 runs against Sri Lanka, ‘Ash’ as they call him made the most of his rest day.
The 31-year old, went on a morning Safari, with his team-mates on Tuesday, at the Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
Not just that, Ashwin also posted images along with Vijay Shankar – the latest addition to India’s Test squad, and fielding coach R. Sridhar, on his Instagram and Twitter account, while admiring the beauty of nature.
— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) November 28, 2017
Meanwhile, Team India will be traveling to Delhi for the third and final Test against Sri Lanka, at the Feroz Shah Kotla, having taken a 1-0 lead in the series at Nagpur.
The third Test begins on December 2.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 27, 2017
It is somewhat remarkable to think that Ravichandran Ashwin had not made his Test debut for India when he was part of the team lifting the 2011 ICC World Cup in Mumbai. However, in the past few years, the off-spinner has become ingrained as a mainstay in India’s Test set-up that it has become easy to think that Ashwin has been around for a decade.
Now the fastest man to 300 wickets in Test cricket (54 matches – beating Dennis Lillee’s 36-year-old record), a feat he achieved against Sri Lanka on Monday, the 31-year-old’s career in the whites of India is still only six-years-old.
The Chennai-born off-spinner burst into the limelight on the back of some impressive showings in the 2010 Indian Premier League (IPL). His Chennai Super Kings form catapulted him to the limited-overs set-up of India and a year later he formed a part of the World Cup winnings squad under the aegis of MS Dhoni.
It is ironic, but also a testament to Ashwin’s tremendous transformation over the years, that he now finds himself as somewhat of a Test specialist given India’s preference for wrist-spinners and younger blood in the shorter formats of the game.
As he notches up yet another milestone, we take a look at the key highlights of Ashwin’s impressive career to date.
Ashwin was handed his maiden Test cap for India during the visit of West Indies in the latter half of 2011. Making his debut at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi, the off-spinner picked up 6-47 in West Indies’ second innings as the hosts registered a five-wicket victory. In doing so, Ashwin became only the seventh Indian player to pick up a five-wicket haul on his Test debut.
He would go on to grab 22 wickets overall in the three-match series along with registering his maiden Test century in the final game at Mumbai to earn himself the man-of-the-series award in his very first for India.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 27, 2017
ASHWIN HAS HABIT OF BREAKING RECORDS
Ever since making his Test bow, Ashwin has been breaking all sorts of record in Indian and international cricket. Such has been his profligacy with the red ball, Ashwin has been the fastest Indian to the 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250-wicket mark in Test cricket.
The 31-year-old was the fasted in international cricket to breach the 100-wicket mark in over 72 years when he completed the feat against the West Indies at Mumbai in November, 2013. The 18 Tests taken by Ashwin to record the feat has since been bettered by Pakistan’s Yasir Shah who did it in 17 Tests.
When the Indian spinner picked up his 250th Test wicket in February this year against Bangladesh, he had beaten former Australian great Dennis Lillee to become the fastest bowler to do so. Ashwin took 45 games to reach the figure compared to the Australian’s 48.
Last year, Ashwin became only the third Indian after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid to win the ICC Cricketer of the Year award.
Quickest to 300 wickets in terms of innings
Muttiah Muralitharan – 91
R ASHWIN- 101
Dennis Lillee – 107
Sir Richard Hadlee – 110
Allan Donald – 112
Dale Steyn -113#IndVSL
— ESPNcricinfo stats (@ESPNcric_stats) November 27, 2017
NOT JUST A BOWLER
Along with the phenomenal numbers he has recorded with the ball, Ashwin’s transformation into a reliable Test all-rounder has been one of the most pleasing aspects of his career. The batting ability he has displayed over the years is not surprising though, given that the Chennai man started out as an opening batsman in junior-level cricket.
Indeed, he showed his batting prowess with a ton in his maiden series against the West Indies in 2011 and has not looked back since, registering a further three more along with 11 half-centuries.
In fact, the Caribbean side have been the favoured opposition for Ashwin whose four Test hundreds have all come against them. Having scored over 2,000 Test runs for India, Ashwin was in fact the fastest in the history of the game to do so along with picking up 250 wickets. He beat the likes of Richard Hadlee, Ian Botham and Imran Khan to the feat taking only 51 matches to claim the honour.
He is considered to be among the top Test all-rounders going around in world cricket these days and his ICC ranking of No.4 justifies that tag.
India declared on 610-6 after Rohit Sharma (102) had completed his hundred, as they seek to go one up in the three-match series.
The visitors were in early trouble on 21 for one at stumps in Nagpur, still trailing India by 384 runs.
Dimuth Karunaratne, on 11, and Lahiru Thirimanne, on 9, were at the crease after paceman Ishant Sharma bowled Sadeera Samarawickrama for 0 with the second ball of the innings.
The day belonged to Kohli, who hit a majestic 213 before falling to off-spinner Dilruwan Perera. He walked off to a standing ovation from a raucous crowd.
It was the star batsman’s fifth 200-plus score in his 62nd Test. He has also achieved double centuries against the West Indies, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 26, 2017
Kohli and Rohit put on 173 for the fifth wicket to pulverise a deflated Sri Lanka attack that sent down 176.1 overs in about six sessions of play.
Kohli, who started the day on 54, smashed 17 fours and two sixes during his 267-ball knock.
He received able support from Sharma, who reached his 50 before tea and then stepped up a gear to amass runs all around the ground and register his third Test hundred.
Kohli’s 183-run third-wicket stand with his overnight partner Cheteshwar Pujara had taken the steam out of the attack.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 26, 2017
Pujara was bowled by paceman Dasun Shanaka for 143 in the first session, but Kohli kept scoring quickly in his team’s bid to bat just once in the match.
Ajinkya Rahane, who was out to Perera for two, and opener Lokesh Rahul were the only two specialist batsmen to miss the Indian run fest of one double century and three centuries.
After the early departure of Rahul on day one, Murali Vijay (128) and Pujara had put India in the driving seat with their 209-run second-wicket partnership.
The first match of the series was hit by rain and ended in a draw in Kolkata.
— ICC (@ICC) November 26, 2017
Provided by AFP Sport