India’s premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest from the country to pick 200 Test wickets when he scalped New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson on Day 4 of the ongoing 1st Test at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur.
At the time of Williamson’s dismissal, Ashwin had already picked three wickets in the innings – only three fell so far – and made most of the biter on offer. The offie first scalped New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham cheaply and then broke a steady stand.
Ashwin reached the milestone in only 37 Tests, faster than Harbhajan Singh who took 46 Tests to get there. Ashwin’s feat is even better than Dennis Lillee, Waqar Younis and Dale Steyn, who reached their in 38, 38 and 39 Tests respectively.
While he is the fastest India to get there, he is the second fastest in the world, just behind Australia’s Clarrie Grimmett who took 36 Tests for his 200th scalp. Ashwin has been a vital cog in India’s success, in all formats of the game.
Before taking his 200th, Ashwin had also picked four wickets in the first innings and scored crucial runs lower down the order. With the bat, he’s developing into a useful hand and hit two hundreds on India’s recent tour to the West Indies.
Ashwin’s early burst has put India in the driving seat as New Zealand need to bat out of their skin, for little more than a day, to make a contest out of the match which is heavily tilted in India’s favour.