As soon as Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Dhananjaya de Silva during the second Test match between India and Sri lanka in Bengaluru on Monday, he etched his name in the annals of Test cricket history. When Hanuma Vihari clutched the ball in his hands off de Silva’s bat, his teammate Ashwin, who had bowled the delivery, became the 8th highest wicket taker in Test history, overtaking South Africa’s Dale Steyn.
Steyn had taken 439 wickets in 93 matches for the Proteas while Ashwin now has 440 scalps to his name in just his 86th test match.
This has been a series of historic significance for the spinner as in the first Test at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, he had gone past Kapil Dev’s tally of 434 Test wickets when he dismissed Charith Asalanka in the Sri Lankan follow-on innings.
Only four Indian bowlers have taken more than 400 wickets in Test cricket. Ashwin had overtaken Harbhajan Singh in the elite list during India’s home series against New Zealand last year.
Ashwin has also overtaken Harbajan (50) for the most wickets against Sri Lanka in a Test match.
In the pink ball Test match on Monday, Sri Lanka were 151 for 4 at tea on the third day while chasing a mammoth target of 447 runs to win the second Test against India.
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne (67 not out) and Kusal Mendis (54) shared 97 runs for the second wicket before Sri Lanka lost tree wickets in quick succession.
At the break, Niroshan Dickwella (10 not out) was giving Karunaratne company at the crease with the visitors still needing 296 more runs for an unlikely win.
Ashwin picked up two wickets in the opening session of the day, while Ravindra Jadeja accounted for the other visiting batter as Sri Lanka added 123 runs to their overnight score.
India are leading the two-match Test series 1-0 after winning the first game by an innings and 222 runs.