On the fourth day of the one-off Test against Bangladesh at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad Ravichandran Ashwin broke a Test record that stood for decades. The Chennai-born offspinner took just 45 games to reach the milestone of reaching 250 wickets, surpassing Dennis Lillee’s record who took 48 matches.
Ashwin reached the landmark when he removed Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim for 127 just before lunch on Day 4.
Also while Lillee took 10 years to claim those scalps, Ashwin did it in less than 6 years time. The tweaker has been quite a sensation in Test matches for team India where in 2016 he bagged 72 wickets from 12 games to finish as the highest wicket-taker in the cricketing world for the second year running. The 30-year-old had earlier surpassed the likes of Pakistan legend Waqar Younis and Dennis Lillee to be the second quickest to 200 Test wickets when he picked up a 10 wicket haul against New Zealand in Kanpur last September.
Ashwin got to the landmark in his 37th Test while Waqar and Lillee both did it in 38.The No.1 spot is still held by former Australia leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett, who took just 36 Tests to claim his 200th victim. Also, Ashwin holds the Indian record of winning the most number of man-of-the-series awards with 7. Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag have five awards each.
Now in the list for the fastest to 250 Test wickets Ashwin is followed by Lillee and South African speed star Dale Steyn is at No.3. Steyn came close to breaking Lillee’s 46-year-old record in 2011 but missed it by a whisker and had to settle for getting there in 49 games. Steyn is followed by his countryman, Allan Donald who achieved the feat in 50 games. The only other Indian in the top 10 of the list is present India team cricket coach Anil Kumble who took 55 games to reach 250 wickets.
If Ashwin can continue with this breathtaking form of his he is sure to break many more such records.