Happy Birthday R Ashwin: A Look at Five Magnificent Bowling Spells by the Indian Spinner
Indian ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates his 33rd birthday on Tuesday. Born on September 17, 1986, the off-spinner has a stellar record in international cricket and is a vital cog of the team in the longest format of the game. The right-arm spinner is known to have a very sharp cricket mind and has often bamboozled the opposition batsmen with his buckets of variation. The off-spinner burst into the scene by some tremendous performance in IPL 2010 and soon became a regular for team India in all three formats. Along with being a lethal bowler, Ashwin is also a handy batsman and has had as many as four Test centuries. IPL 2020: Ravichandran Ashwin Set to Join Delhi Capitals.
The Spin Star made his international debut in June 2010 and is standing strong after almost a decade in international cricket. In ODIs, the bowler has scalped 150 wickets from 111 games and was also a part of India’s World Cup squad in 2011 and 2015. Talking about the T20Is, Ashwin has 52 wickets from 46 games and was also the first Indian bowler to scalp 50 wickets in T20 Internationals. Did Ravichandran Ashwin Take a Sly Dig at KL Rahul & Hardik Pandya over Koffee With Karan 6 Fiasco?
Coming to Test Cricket, the bowler has featured in 65 Tests in which he took a whooping 342 wickets which include 26 five-wicket hauls and seven 10-wicket hauls. Ashwin is also the quickest bowler to reach the landmark of 300 Test wickets. The bowler achieved the feat in only 54 matches. So, on the occasion of Ashwin’s 33rd birthday, let’s have a look at five magnificent spells bowled by the spinner in international cricket.
7/103 and 5/95 vs Australia in Chennai
The off-spinner rattled the opposition batting line-up in the first Test of Australia's 2013 tour of India. Ashwin took seven wickets in the first innings of the match and dismissed the Michael Clarke-led side for 380 in a decent batting wicket. The bowler followed his first innings heroics by grabbing another five-fer in the third innings. Ashwin's effort played a crucial role in the match and India clinched the clash by eight wickets.
6/81 and 7/59 vs New Zealand in Indore
Ashwin was at his premium best when New Zealand toured India in 2016. In the third and the last match of the series, the off-break bowler produced a staggering spell and New Zealand were bundled out for 299 in the first innings. In the last innings of the match, Ashwin bettered his match tally by taking 7 wickets and the Kiwis got dismissed for mere 153 runs which gave India a 321 runs victory.
7/83 vs West Indies in Antigua
Despite having such a stellar record, the off-spinner was often questioned for his performances overseas. However, the spinner answered all his critics in the first test of India's 2016 tour of West Indies. After registering a ton in the first innings, Ashwin tormented the hosts with the ball as well. The bowler took seven wickets in the last innings and Windies were dismissed for 231 runs, which clinched India a victory by an innings and 92 runs.
4/8 Against Sri Lanka in Visakhapatnam
The Chennai-born bowler was all over the opposition when Sri Lanka toured India in 2016. In the third and deciding encounter, Ashwin bowled a magical spell and made the match a mere one-sided clash. Ashwin took four wickets and the visitors were dismissed for just 82 in the first innings. Later, India easily chased the target and won the match by 9 wickets.
4/11 Against Australia in Dhaka
Australia were having a dismal campaign in the 2014 World T20 and Ashwin's brilliant spell rubbed salt on their wounds. In the last league clash of both the teams, Australia restricted India to a peculiar total of 159 in the first innings. However, Ashwin took four wickets and turned the match completely in India's favour. Australia got bundled out for mere 86 runs and lost the match by 73 runs.
Post the 2017 Champions Trophy, Ashwin's form dipped in the limited-overs format and was dropped from the side. However, the spinner continued to be a regular face for India in Tests and his performance will also be critical for India's success in the ICC World Test Championships. Ashwin's next assignment with India will be when South Africa begins their Test Championship campaign with a three-match Test series against India. Ashwin will aim to deliver some more magnificent spells against the Proteas in order to prove his mettle once again.