Is Ashwin India's greatest spin bowler?
When it comes to the art of spin bowling, Indians excel at it. We have produced some of the best spinners in the world over the years. In recent history, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin are the finest produced by India. As Ashwin became the fastest to claim 300 Test wickets, here is a comparison between Ash and the two legends.
Ravichandran Ashwin's career in numbers
In 54 Tests, Ashwin has claimed 300 wickets. He is the fastest Indian to reach the milestones of 50, 100, 150 and 200 test wickets. He is also the fastest ever to reach 250 and 300 Test wickets, breaking Australian bowling great Dennis Lillee's record.
India's leading test wicket taker
With 619 wickets, Anil Kumble is India's leading wicket-taker. He achieved the feat in 132 test matches. However, if we take his record in first 54 matches, the leg spinner had 243 wickets to his name. He has been relatively successful in overseas tests, picking up 269 wickets from 69 matches. Both Ashwin and Kumble have taken most wickets against the Australian team.
First Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in tests
In 54 tests, Harbhajan had picked 222 wickets, 78 wickets less than Ashwin. Even though it is unfair to compare Harbhajan's and Ashwin's records, Bhajji's frequency to take wickets as compared to balls bowled is quite less than Ashwin's, both in India and overseas. In home tests, Harbhajan took a wicket in 64 balls, while Ashwin takes 25 ball less to do so.
The rise and rise of Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin has improved drastically as a bowler in the last 2 years. His 186 wickets since 2015 is a testament to that. Ashwin also boasts the second best bowling average after number 1 ranked Test bowler James Anderson and also leads the charts for most 5-wicket hauls with 17 to his name. Ashwin also has 52 wickets to his name this year.
Ashwin's statistics are mind-blowing
Ashwin is the fifth Indian bowler to take 300 Test wickets after Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan. The quickest Indian to 300 wickets before Ashwin was Kumble. Ashwin needed just 15,636 balls to claim his 300th Test wicket, the least among the 8 spinners to reach the 300 landmark. Shane Warne needed 18,501 balls.
Long way to go for Ashwin
Ashwin has established himself as the leading spin bowler in India. He is quick in taking wickets, and is sure to break many records in the near future. However, comparing him with the spin legends Kumble and Harbhajan would be unfair at this point, as Ashwin has played less than half the test matches played by the duo.