India vs Sri Lanka 2017: Ravichandran Ashwin on the verge of becoming the fastest to 300 Test wickets
The 31-year-old offie needs to pick up just eight wickets during the upcoming Sri Lanka series to claim the record.
During the upcoming three-match Test series between India and Sri Lanka, Ravichandran Ashwin could create a world record. The 31-year-old off-spinner currently has 292 Test wickets from 52 matches and is hot on the heels of legendary Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee, who holds the record for being the fastest to 300 Test wickets.
The pacer set the record in 1981 against Pakistan when he got to the milestone in his 56th Test. Ashwin needs to pick up just eight wickets during the series against Sri Lanka and claim the world that has belonged to the Australian for 36 years. Ashwin has had a stellar run in Tests since 2015 as he has averaged at least 50 wickets in back-to-back years and is currently on 44 wickets, hoping to make it three in a row during the Sri Lanka series.
Ever since 2014, where he played just 4 Tests, Ashwin has been simply sensational. In 2015, he finished with 62 wickets in just nine Tests, his career-best tally in a calendar year. That record just stood for a year as he picked up 72 wickets in 2016 and already has 44 wickets in 2017 going into the Sri Lanka series. His incredible run helped him claim the Asian record for being the fastest to 200 Test wickets and the world record for the fastest to 250 wickets.
Against Sri Lanka, Ashwin has 38 Test wickets and 12 wickets against them will make them the third country against whom he has picked up 50 Test wickets. Should he pick up eight wickets during the Sri Lanka series, he will also become the second-fastest to get to the mark in terms of time taken from debut. Shane Warne, holds the record having got there exactly six years from his debut and eight more scalps will mean he will join Warne as the only two bowlers to have got to the mark in less than seven years.
The current world record for being the fastest to 300 scalps for an off-spinner is Muttiah Muralitharan, who got there in 58 matches, which is also the Asian record. The Indian record is currently held by Anil Kumble, who got there in 66 Tests.
Ashwin will also be only the 31st bowler in Test history to cross the 300 wicket mark, the eighth spinner and only the fifth Indian after Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan
While the three leading wicket-takers in Tests are spinners, pacers dominate the list of the top ten fastest bowlers to 300 Test scalps.Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne are the only two spinners in the top ten. In terms of countries, Australia has three bowlers in the top ten, South Africa have two and Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies, England and Pakistan all have one each in the top ten.
Here is the list of the fastest to 300 Test wickets:
NOTE: Records updated ahead of the India-Sri Lanka Test series.