Ravichandran Ashwin once again showed why he is India’s premier bowler. Career best figures of 7 for 59 in Test innings and 13 for 140 runs in the match helped India beat New Zealand by 321 runs in the third Test. The win also helped India to complete a series sweep against the Black Caps.
The numbers also speak on Ashwin’s behalf. He has gone on to break numerous records in Test cricket previously and continued to do so with this series.
* Ashwin took his 21 five-wicket hauls in the 39 Tests he has played for India. In the same number of Tests, he has six ten-wicket hauls, second most by an Indian behind Anil Kumble (8).
* Ashwin won his seventh man-of-the-series award. Since his debut, only he has won seven MoS awards. No player has more than four.
* Ashwin has won seven man-of-the-series awards in his last eight Test series. Also, this was his fourth consecutive MoS award in Test series. Only Imran Khan and Malcom Marshall have the same record.
* Ashwin’s ten-wicket haul was his second in this series. He is only the second Indian to do so after Harbhajan Singh, who picked up two ten-wicket hauls against Australia in 2000-01
* Four of Ashwin’s six 10-wicket hauls have been 12-wicket hauls. He has overtaken Anil Kumble (3) and is now joint second in the world. Only Muttiah Muralitharan has more. (6)
* India’s 321-run win is their second biggest win in terms of runs. Their biggest in 339 against South Africa in 2015.
* This was India’s fourth whitewash in a Test series with three or more matches. Their previous three are – England in 1992-93, Sri Lanka in 1992-93 and Australia in 2012-13.