Tendulkar had adorned the jersey while playing for India in ODIs and a sole T20I. He had last worn the No.10 jersey for India in March 2012 in an ODI against Pakistan. The ‘Master Blaster’ retired from all forms of cricket in November 2013.
The No.10 jersey was unused for five year since his retirement before pacer Shardul Thakur took up the number in his ODI debut for India against Sri Lanka in Colombo this August.
The decision to take up the jersey number associated with the legend did not do down well with the masses it seems with many fans trolling the bowler on social media for his choice.
Thakur had later issued a clarification that he had picked the number for numerological reasons.
A BCCI official said that the jersey remains ‘unofficially’ retired as the ICC does not allow the permanent retirement of an international jersey.
“It’s a very individual choice. If players don’t want to wear a certain number, one can’t force them. ICC might just tell you that a team can’t officially retire a jersey but it would never tell you that it’s mandatory to wear that number,” the BCCI official had told PTI on Wednesday.
“The BCCI has not taken any such call (retiring the No.10 jersey). It’s a very informal thing among players. Also you don’t want young players to be abused like it happened with Shardul Thakur,” he added.
While Tendulkar’s former IPL franchise Mumbai Indians has officially retired the batsman’s famous jersey, there is no precedent for a number being retired in international cricket.
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.