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Ashwin And Family Celebrate 100 Tests!

March 07, 2024 11:06 IST
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IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin, wife Prithi Narayanan and daughters Akhira and Aadhya with the special India cap to mark his 100th Test in Dharamsala on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Photographs: BCCI

He has broken several records in his illustrious career, but completing the unique landmark of 100 Test matches would rank among Ravichandran Ashwin's cherished cricketing achievements.

Ashwin is only the 14th Indian to complete a century of Tests.

'It does not mean anything to me. The 100th Test match probably means 10 x 100 to my dad, it means a lot to my wife and my mom. My daughters are more excited than I am,' Ashwin had said on Tuesday.

'It's just a number. Zaheer Khan could not play 100 Tests, M S Dhoni could have rode on his (success) and played 100 Tests, but he did not.'

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin is presented with the special India cap by Head Coach Rahul Dravid, who has himself played 164 Tests. Photograph: BCCI

Ashwin, who went past 500 Test wickets in the previous Test in Ranchi, is India's second highest wicket-taker in Tests with 507 wickets behind the legendary Anil Kumble, who finished with 619 wickets in 132 Tests.

He is the fourth highest spinner wicket-taker in Tests after Muttiah Muralitharan (800 wickets), Shane Warne (708) and Nathan Lyon (527).

Kumble was among the first to congratulate Ashwin on his achievement.

'Congratulations on your 100 Tests @ashwinravi99 Proud of all your achievements. Continue to win matches for India. A champion par excellence! Many more to come,' Kumble tweeted.

Ashwin's wife Prithi -- they have been married for 98 Tests, as she told the Indian Express in an endearing interview on Wednesday -- and daughters Akhira and Aadhya were present as the off-spinner was presented his 100th Test cap by Rahul Dravid with the entire team and support staff in attendance ahead of the start of the fifth Test.

This has not been an easy series for Ashwin. His mother Chitra Ravichandran -- who inspired him to become a spinner -- was hospitalised on the day he took his 500th Test wicket in Rajkot, which forced him to miss the next day's play in the third Test before he returned on Day 4 to help his team push for victory.

Ashwin has the most number of five-wicket and ten wicket hauls for India in Tests. He has 35 five-wicket hauls, the last one coming in India's win over England in Ranchi. He has eight ten-wicket hauls to his name.

He was given a guard of honour as he entered the field, then Captain Rohit Sharma asked him to lead the team on to the field for the start of play after England had elected to bat -- something Sunil Gavaskar, the first Indian to play 100 Tests, had requested in Ranchi.

'It is a pretty big occasion. More than the destination, the journey has been very special,' Ashwin noted in what has come to define his manner of mulling over the game, its peaks and troughs.

'It is a journey of ups and downs and a lot of learnings.'

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