Stats: Ravichandran Ashwin becomes fastest to 300 Test wickets
The Indian off-spinner broke a 36-year-old record in the process.
After going wicketless in the first Test against Sri Lanka, Ravichandran Ashwin bounced back in style as he broke the world record for being the fastest to 300 Test wickets in the second Test at Nagpur. He got to the milestone in just 54 matches, two fewer than it took Australian legend Dennis Lillee, who previously held the record.
The legendary Australian pacer set the record on November 27, 1981 against Pakistan and the record remained for 36 years before Ashwin eventually broke courtesy of the dismissal of Lahiru Gamage on November 27, 2017. Exactly 36 years later, Ashwin took over and continued his incredible run in Tests over the last three years.
Since 2015, the 31-year-old off-spinner has been nothing short of phenomenal in Tests. In the second Test against Sri Lanka at Nagpur, Ashwin crossed the 50 wicket mark in Tests in 2017. That makes it the third consecutive year in which he has picked up 50 or more Test wickets in a calendar year.
After picking up just 10 wickets in 2014, he bounced back in style by picking up 62 wickets in just nine Tests in 2015, his career-best tally for a calendar year. He broke that mark the following year when he finished with 72 wickets from 12 matches. With a Test to go against Sri Lanka, he is currently on 52 wickets.
The off-spinner from Tamil Nadu already holds the Asian record of being the fastest to 200 Test wickets and the world record of being the fastest to 250, a record which coincidentally also belonged to Lillee before Ashwin broke it against Bangladesh earlier this year. Now he has the record for being the fastest to 300 Test scalps to his name as well.
He also became only the 31st bowler, the eighth spinner and only the fifth Indian to cross the 300 wicket mark in Test history. In terms of Indians, he joins Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan in that elite list. He also crossed 500 international wickets during the match, becoming only the sixth Indian to cross that milestone, after the aforementioned four players and Javagal Srinath.
Courtesy of his record-breaking efforts, he became one of only three bowlers to have got to 300 wickets inside 60 Tests. Ashwin got there in just 54 while Lillee (56) and Muttiah Muralitharan (58) are the only others to have achieved it.
In the list of top ten quickest to the 300 wicket mark, Ashwin is the only Indian. He is also one of only three spinners on the list, along with Muralitharan and Shane Warne. The list is dominated by pacers with the likes of Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall and South African duo of Dale Steyn and Allan Donald all featuring in the list.
Here is the complete list of the fastest to 300 Test wickets: