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'500 Test wickets for a one-in-a-million bowler!'

February 16, 2024 15:37 IST
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IMAGE: A jubilant Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after dismissing Zak Crawley to complete 500 Test wickets on Day 2 of the third Test against England on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Ravichandran Ashwin became the second Indian bowler after former skipper Anil Kumble to take 500 Test wickets during the third Test against England in Rajkot on Friday.

Ashwin also became only the third off-spinner to achieve the feat and continues to be the second highest wicket-taker for India behind Kumble, who ended his career with 619 scalps.


The 37-year-old reached the milestone on Day 2 of the third Test in Rajkot. He needed just one wicket for the feat and that came in the way of opener Zak Crawley, who top-edged the sweep and was caught by Rajat Patidar at short fine leg.

This was after India were earlier bowled out for 445 in their first innings.

Overall, Ashwin is only the ninth bowler and the fifth spinner to take 500 wickets in the traditional format. He got to the landmark of 500 wickets in his 98th Test match at an average of 23, with 34 five-wicket hauls.

Batting great Sachin Tendulkar hailed Ashwin for his 500 wicket milestone.

"500 Test wickets for a one-in-a-million bowler! In AshWIN the SpinNER, there was always a WINNER. 500 wickets is a huge milestone in Test cricket. Congratulations, Champion!," Tendulkar said on X.

Having made his Test debut in 2011, Ashwin has come a long way.

The engineering graduate from Chennai started out as a top-order batter and tried his hand at medium pace bowling before settling for the role of an off-spinner, a decision that was forced by a back injury during his teenage years.

Following the Kumble and Harbhajan Singh era, Ashwin had big shoes to fill and he has done that with remarkable consistency.

In his first 16 Tests, Ashwin had snared nine five-wicket hauls as he enjoyed a dream start to Test cricket.

He was the fastest to 300 Test wickets, having got there in 54 Tests in 2017.

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