Ravichandran Ashwin scripts history with 27th fifer during 1st Test against South Africa
Veteran Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin returned to the Indian squad in the whites with another magnificent five-wicket hall to derail South Africa's chase of a massive 502-run total in the first innings of the ongoing Test match between the two sides at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. By virtue of registering the best figures in the first innings play between the two sides, Ashwin has also entered the history books by adding another feature in his already illustrious cap on Friday.
The Proteas were left with an uphill task today after experienced campaigners Ashwin along with Ravindra Jadeja joined forces to put the visitors on the back foot before the end of day's play on Thursday. Faf Du Plessis and Co. were three down for 39 but managed to bounce back with centuries from Dean Elgar (160) and Quinton de Kock (111) on Day 3 in Vizag. The Proteas finished the third day of the ongoing Test with a score of 385 with a loss of wickets.
As South Africa got themselves in the driving seat with twin centuries from Elgar and De Kock, the onus was on Ashwin who was making his much-anticipated return after missing out India's first series in their inaugural ICC World Test Championship campaign. The 33-year-old failed to make a single appearance in the two-match Test series in the Caribbean where India thrashed the West Indies 2-0 to top the points table of the ICC event.
However, Ashwin was handed a start in India's first home assignment in the Test Championship tournament and the Chennai spinner flourished on the first three days of the series opener. Ashwin dismissed half the Proteas side on his own with figures of five for 128 in 41 overs. This was Ashwin's 27th five-wicket haul in Test cricket and also his fifth against the Proteas in the whites. Thus, he has now surpassed Javagal Srinath and Harbhajan Singh to become the Indian bowler with most number of fifers against South Africa in the longer format.
Ashwin was earlier tied with Srinath and Harbhajan with four-five wicket hauls. With his overall wicket-tally reading to 43, Ashwin has cemented his position as the fourth-highest wicket-taker for India against South Africa in Tests.