Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest Indian bowler to pick up 350 wickets in Test cricket. Ashwin reached the landmark when he removed Theunis de Bruyn early on Day 5 of the 1st Test between India and South Africa in Vizag. The Tamil Nadu spinner has taken 350 wickets in 66 Test matches. With achieving the feat Ashwin equalled Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan’s record, who has taken the same number of Test matches to reach the landmark. Muttiah Muralitharan is the leading wicket-taker in red-ball cricket with 800 Test wicket.
Ashwin also became the fastest Indian bowler to take 350 Test wickets. Anil Kumble, who is all-time leading wicket-taker of India with 619 wickets, had held the record. Kumble reached the landmark after appearing in 77 Test matches. Another Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has reached 350 wickets milestone after appearing in 83 matches.
R Ashwin made a brilliant comeback after staying away from the Indian squad for more than one year. Ashwin picked up 27th 5-wicket haul in the 1st innings, ending up with figures of 7/145. This is the fifth time when the 33-year-old off-spinner took 7 wickets in an innings in the longer format of the game.
Ashwin had surpassed South African pacer Dale Steyn and equals with former England all-rounder Ian Botham and pacer James Anderson on the list of the players of most 5-wicket hauls in Tests. R Ashwin is the fourth bowler in Test history on the list of highest five-wicket hauls in home countries. All-time Test wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan (45), Rangana Herath (26) and Anil Kumble (25) are the only three bowlers to have more 5-wicket haul in their home soil.