Team India ace spinner R Ashwin had a commendable tour Down Under and played well. He claimed 12 wickets in three Tests and was India’s second-best performer. Notably, he also grinded out in the middle at the SCG Test, helping India earn a valuable draw. Ashwin will be raring to go all out in the upcoming four-Test series against England, starting February 5 in Chennai.
Ashwin has been highly successful at home and the performances tell the story. England have a notable batting line-up led by Joe Root and the battle will be an interesting one. Ashwin could write his name in the history books by scripting several records and milestones in the upcoming series. Notably, the 34-year-old has taken 377 Test scalps at an average of 25.54.
Ashwin will have ample time in the series to script 400 Test scalps. He is 23 shy at the moment. By doing so, the off-spinner will be only the fourth Indian to achieve this tally, besides being the 16th cricketer in the world as well. What makes this record special is that Ashwin has played 74 Tests so far and can be the fastest Indian to 400 Test scalps. The likes of Anil Kumble (85), Harbhajan Singh (96) and Kapil Dev (115) have taken more matches.
Ashwin’s impact on home soil is commendable. In 43 Tests, he has taken 254 scalps at 22.80. He needs 12 more wickets to better the tally of Harbhajan at home (265). Meanwhile, Kumble is the leading wicket-taker on home soil by an Indian (350).
Ashwin was terrific against England during their last tour in 2016/17. In that home series, Ashwin scalped 28 scalps (highest). Given his exploits, he can be a handful this time too. The right-arm spinner has 42 wickets against England at home and needs eight more to amass a tally of 50. That’s another milestone in sight for the senior cricketer.
Ashwin is no mug with the bat and has four Test centuries to showcase his offerings. So far, he has notched 2,467 Test runs and is just 33 away from registering 2,500 Test runs. Notably, this feat has only been achieved by Kumble and Kapil in terms of Indian players.