Premier India off-spinner Ravi Ashwin, on Sunday, became the joint third-highest wicket-taker for India in Test cricket, as he equalled Harbhajan Singh’s tally of 417 wickets during New Zealand‘s second innings in the ongoing Kanpur Test.
After bagging a 3-wicket haul in the first innings, Ravi Ashwin dismissed Kiwi opener Will Young – trapped lbw, which was indeed missing leg-stump, but Young was late for review – towards the end of Day 4 to achieve this landmark.
Ashwin has taken 417 wickets in 150 innings, while Harbhajan did it in 190 Test innings. The bowling average of the Tamil Nadu off-spinner, 24.52, is also much better than Harbhajan’s 32.46.
Anil Kumble with 619 wickets and Kapil Dev with 434 wickets are the only two Indians ahead of Ravi Ashwin on the wicket charts. However, overall Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan continues to be the leading Test wicket-taker with 800 scalps.
We have real spin power, so hopefully, we can get the job done tomorrow: Shreyas Iyer
India have set New Zealand the target of 284 runs. Shreyas Iyer, who became the first-ever Indian to hit a century and a fifty on Test debut, is confident that India’s spin trio – Ravi Ashwin, Axar Patel, who took a five-fer in the first innings, and Ravindra Jadeja will be successful in nipping out the remaining 9 wickets on Day 5.
“We felt that 250 including the first-innings lead would have been a good score, so we’re very happy with where we are now. Actually, not a lot was happening with the wicket today, the ball was keeping a bit low. The talk was to get to a competitive total and I feel that it’s a really good total. We have real spin power, so hopefully we can get the job done tomorrow,” Iyer said.
After the Kiwi bowlers had India reeling at 51-5, the fifties from Iyer and Wriddhiman Saha, and scores of 32 and 28 from Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel, helped the side to a total of 234, batting the visitors out of the game.