Ravichandran Ashwin Overtakes Harbhajan Singh As India’s Second Highest Wicket-Taker

In a stunning display of skill and determination, Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has etched his name in the annals of cricketing history. During the first Test of a two-match series against the West Indies in Dominica, Ashwin’s exceptional performance not only helped India secure victory but also propelled him to become India’s second-highest wicket-taker in international cricket, surpassing the legendary Harbhajan Singh.

Ashwin’s remarkable performance in the match witnessed him clinching 12 wickets for 131 runs. In the first innings, he claimed figures of 5/60, followed by a magnificent 7/71 in the second innings. This outstanding combined effort secured his place in the record books and played a pivotal role in India’s triumph.

With this feat, Ashwin’s tally of international wickets stands at an impressive 709, achieved across 271 matches. Maintaining an average of 25.67, Ashwin has consistently showcased his ability to trouble batters. His best bowling figures, 7/59, highlight his exceptional skills on the cricket field.

Ashwin’s achievements go beyond mere statistics. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated his ability to deliver pivotal performances, including 27 four-wicket hauls, 34 five-wicket hauls, and an astounding 8 ten-wicket hauls in international cricket. This puts him on par with the legendary Anil Kumble, who holds the record for the most ten-wicket hauls by an Indian bowler.

Anil Kumble, with 953 wickets in 401 matches, currently holds the title of India’s best bowler in international cricket. With his recent accomplishments, Ashwin has drawn closer to Kumble’s record, sparking the imagination of cricket enthusiasts worldwide. As Ashwin continues to excel, he aims to surpass Kumble’s remarkable feat and etch his name in cricketing history.

Harbhajan Singh, a formidable spinner in his own right, now stands in third place with 707 wickets in 365 matches. Although he has slipped in the rankings, Harbhajan’s contributions to Indian cricket cannot be understated. His career statistics include 19 four-wicket hauls, 28 five-wicket hauls, and 5 ten-wicket hauls.

Ashwin’s exceptional figures of 12/131 in the match mark the third-best bowling performance by an Indian in an away Test. Bhagwat Chandrashekhar’s remarkable performance of 12/104 against Australia in Melbourne in 1977 tops the list, followed by Irfan Pathan’s 12/126 against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2005. Ashwin’s outstanding achievement places him among the elite company of Indian bowlers in overseas Test matches.

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Ashwin’s stellar performance against the West Indies also set a new benchmark. His figures of 12/131 rank as the third-best bowling performance in India-West Indies Tests. Narendra Hirwani’s extraordinary haul of 16/136 in Chennai in 1988 holds the top spot, followed by Andy Roberts’ 12/121 against India in Chennai in 1975. Ashwin’s accomplishment signifies his ability to excel against challenging opponents.

Ashwin’s record includes achieving a five-wicket haul in both innings of a Test on six occasions, the most by an Indian. However, Sri Lankan spin maestro Muttiah Muralidaran holds the overall record with 11 such instances. Additionally, Ashwin’s six five-wicket hauls against the West Indies make him the leading Indian in this regard. He has also matched Malcolm Marshall’s record for the most five-wicket hauls in India-West Indies Tests.

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