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Ashwin Has Their Number!

February 09, 2024 10:44 IST

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin currently has 499 Test wickets. Photograph: BCCI

Since his Test debut in 2011, Ravichandran Ashwin has spun a web around clueless batters and conjured up match-winning performances in Test cricket.

In 97 Tests he has 499 wickets against his name with 34 five wicket hauls (in an innings).

He was also the fastest to 350 Test wickets, reaching the landmark in just 66 Tests.

As Ashwin nears his 500th Test wicket, here are some batters who have been unable to read him and have been his victims one time too many.

Ashwin vs Ben Stokes


IMAGE: Ben Stokes is bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin during the first Test in Hyderabad. Photograph: BCCI

The England Test captain is known to not be very fluent against spinners, but his struggle to read Ashwin is one for the history books.

Stokes is unnaturally defensive against Ashwin, and he was Ashwin's scalp in the 1st Test in Hyderabad. That was the 12th time in 25 innings that the batter was taken out by the bowler.

Stokes averages a poor 19 against Ashwin.

Ashwin vs David Warner

IMAGE: Ashwin celebrates dismissing David Warner during the Test in February 2023. Photograph: BCCI

Ashwin loves to play against Australia and that is apparent with the number of wickets he's logged against them.

And he has enjoyed bowling to no one more than David Warner. The Australian opener, who played his last Test on January 4 against Pakistan, was dismisssed 11 times by the Indian offie.

They faced off in 32 innings and all Warner could muster was an average of 22.

Ashwin vs Alastair Cook

IMAGE: Alastair Cook is bowled by Ashwin. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images from the Rediff Archives

When England play India, there are always battles within the battle, like James Anderson versus Virat Kohli, but the bigger one was always Ashwin vs Alastair Cook.

Cook, who possessed a solid technique against spinners, invariably failed to read Ashwin's deliveries.

Consequently, Ashwin dismissed the England opener 9 times in Test duels.

Although Cook was Ashwin's target often, Cook scored 330 runs against him at an average of 37 in 21 innings.

Ashwin vs Steve Smith

IMAGE: Ashwin celebrates Steve Smith's wicket during the second India--Australia Test in Delhi in February 2023. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images from the Rediff Archives

Here's another Aussie that Ashwin loves to bowl to. Steve Smith has been dismissed 8 times by Ashwin and that is tied with James Anderson. Only Stuart Broad dismissed Smith on more occasions than Ashwin -- 9 times.

That aside, the Aussie has piled 434 runs against Ashwin in 25 Test innings.

Ashwin vs Joe Root

IMAGE: Ashwin celebrates after taking Joe Root's wicket during the second Test at Visakhapatnam, February 5, 2024. Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

England's Joe Root is another one of Ashwin's favourites.

After his dismissal for 16 in the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test in Visakhapatnam, Root has now been taken out by Ashwin for the 6th time in red ball cricket.

Root has scored over 350 runs against India's premier offspinner at an average of 72.