Ashwin powers to 500 Test wickets mark, second Indian after Kumble

Ashwin also became only the third off-spinner to achieve the feat.

 Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Friday became the second Indian bowler after former skipper Anil Kumble to take 500 Test wickets during the third Test against England here.

Ashwin also became only the third off-spinner to achieve the feat and continues to be the second highest wicket-taker for India behind Kumble, who ended his career with 619 scalps.

The 37-year-old reached the milestone on day two of the ongoing Test. He needed just one wicket for the feat and that came in the way of opener Zak Crawley, who mis-timed a sweep which landed in the safe hands of Rajat Patidar at short fine leg.

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This was after India were earlier bowled out for 445 in their first innings.

The only other off-spinners who have touched the 500 wickets mark are retired Sri Lanka great Muttiah Muralidaran (800) and Australia’s Nathan Lyon (517), who did it last year.

Overall, Ashwin is only the ninth bowler to take 500 wickets in the traditional format, scaling the landmark in his 97th Test.

Having made his Test debut in 2011, Ashwin has come a long way.

The engineering graduate from Chennai started out as a top-order batter and tried his hand at medium pace bowling before settling for the role of an off-spinner, a decision that was forced by a back injury during his teenage years.

Following the Kumble and Harbhajan Singh era, Ashwin had big shoes to fill and he has done that with remarkable consistency.

In his first 16 Tests, Ashwin snared nine five-wicket hauls and became the fastest to the 300 wickets club.

Ashwin has also proved his worth in the shorter formats, having played 116 ODIS for his 156 wickets in the format. He has 72 wickets in 65 T20 International appearances.

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