Ashwin has one last hurdle to conquer
Ravichandran Ashwin became the joint-fastest bowler along with Muttiah Muralitharan to reach 350 wickets in Tests. He has achieved it in just 66 Test matches.
Records, on the face of it, will portray the credentials of a cricketer. But once you dive deep into it and analyze it in greater depth, it reveals the true picture. At this juncture let us look at the record of Ashwin after his incredible achievement of bagging his 27th five-wicket hauls in Tests.
Ashwin has been a champion off-spinner for India. Right from the time he made his Test debut for India in 2011, he has consistently delivered several match-winning spells and has created ripples in the opposition batsmen.
Need to put an end to a frustrating partnership? Turn to Ashwin. Need an extra batsman who can contribute useful runs lower down the order? Turn to Ashwin. Want to take early wickets with the new ball? Turns to Ashwin. He has played a pivotal role in India reaching the top of the Test rankings.
Man for all reasons and seasons?
Looking at his home-and-away record, it is evident that Ashwin has tasted remarkable success at home, while in away matches he hasn't been at his true best. His average and strike-rate are much higher in away Tests.
The final frontier
The table depicts that Ashwin has done well only in Asia and the West Indies. But if you look at his record in South Africa, England and Australia (SEA), he is nowhere near his best. Ironically it is in these countries, India has time and again struggled to win Test matches. Though he generally bowls continuous spells, his strike rate in SEA is quite appalling.
So it is important for Ashwin to weave his magic at SEA. Only then he could get the tag of 'man for all reasons and seasons'