Ravichandran Ashwin reached the milestone of 50 Test wickets in the 2021 calendar year during Day 3 of the second Test between India and New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium.
The 35-year-old achieved the feat with the dismissal of Kiwi opener Will Young when the latter edged one to Suryakumar Yadav, stationed at forward short leg.
Former cricketer Parthiv Patel lauded Ashwin on completing the special milestone. The off-spinner currently has the most wickets (51) in 2021 in the red-ball format, seven wickets ahead of Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi (44).
Taking to Twitter, the cricketer-turned-commentator wrote:
“Batsmen often talk about 100 but for #Ashwin even a ‘50’ is special! No Indian has taken 50 wickets in a year in Test cricket – more than him! Such 50 is superb.”
With this feat, Ravichandran Ashwin has picked up 50+ wickets in a calendar year on four occasions (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2021).
He is currently at the top of the list among Indians, followed by Harbhajan Singh (2001, 2002, 2008) and Anil Kumble (1999,2004 and 2006), who have achieved the landmark three times each.
Former Australian spinner Shane Warne (8) has achieved the landmark on most occasions, followed by Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (6) and another Aussie Glenn McGrath (5).
Ashwin’s three wickets take India one step closer to victory
The hosts are one step away from securing a well-deserved victory to win the series 1-0 in Mumbai.
Ravichandran Ashwin provided the initial breakthrough after skipper Virat Kohli decided to declare India’s innings at 276/7, posting a mammoth target of 540 runs for the Kiwis.
Ashwin got the better of Black Caps captain Tom Latham in the fourth over before dismissing Will Young and Ross Taylor in quick succession to have the visitors reeling at 55/3.
Daryl Mitchell and Henry Nicholls forged a crucial partnership, adding 73 runs for the fourth wicket. Mitchell reached his fifty before a wild slog ended his 92-ball vigil in the middle.
Tom Blundell then followed suit, getting himself run out in an attempt to sneak a quick single to have the Kiwis at 129/5.
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India now require another five wickets to win the Test match and the series with two days of play still left.