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The Hindu
The Hindu

Ravichandran Ashwin surpasses Harbhajan to becomes 2nd highest wicket-taker for India in international cricket

Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on July 15 surpassed Harbhajan Singh to become the second-highest wicket-taker for India in international cricket. 

Aswhin did so during the first Test of two-match series against West Indies in Dominica. The veteran spinner recorded one of his finest away performances, taking 5/60 in the first innings and 7/71 in the second innings to finish with a combined figure of 12/131. With this performance.

Ashwin has 709 wickets in 271 international matches. These wickets have come at an average of 25.67 and his best bowling figures are 7/59. He has 27 four-wicket hauls, 34 five-wicket hauls, and 8 ten-wicket hauls in international cricket. 

Also Read | WI vs Ind first Test | Ashwin runs through West Indies batting to set up massive win for India

India's best bowler in international cricket is Anil Kumble, who has taken 953 in 401 matches at an average of 30.06 with best figures of 10/74. He has 39 four-wicket hauls, 37 five-wicket hauls and eight ten-wicket hauls. 

Harbhajan has now slipped to third position, with 707 wickets in 365 matches at an average of 32.59 and best figures of 8/84. He has 19 four-wicket hauls, 28 fifers and 5 ten-wicket hauls in international cricket. 

With this ten-wicket haul, Ashwin has equalled Kumble in terms of most ten-wicket hauls by an Indian bowler, with a total of eight. Harbhajan is next with a total of 5 ten-wicket hauls. Ashwin's figures of 12/131 are third-best bowling figures by an Indian in an away Test.

The best performance by an India overseas is by Bhagwath Chandrashekhar, who took a combined 12/104 in a Test against Australia at Melbourne in 1977. He is followed by Irfan Pathan, who dismantled Zimbabwe with his 12/126 at Harare in 2005. The spinner's 12/131 is also the third-best bowling performance by a player in India-West Indies Test.

The best bowling performance by an Indian against the Windies till this day is by Narendra Hirwani, who took 16/136 at Chennai back in 1988. He is followed by Andy Roberts, who took 12/121 against India in Chennai back in 1975. 

Ashwin has secured a five-wicket haul in both innings of a Test six times, the most by an India. Overall, this feat has been performed the most by Sri Lankan spin great Muttiah Muralidaran, who did it 11 times. 

The spinner now has six five-wicket hauls against Windies, the most by an Indian. He also equalled Malcolm Marshall in taking the most five-wicket hauls in India-West Indies tests. 

Coming to the match, West Indies opted to bat first and was bundled out for 150 in their first innings. Athanaze (47) and skipper Braithwaite (20) were the only ones who could contribute something decent to the scoreboard.

Ashwin's fifer and Ravindra Jadeja's figures of 3/26 were the standouts in the Indian bowling charts.India ended the first day at 80/0, with skipper Rohit Sharma (30*) and debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal (40*) unbeaten.

From then on, India overwhelmed West Indies with Rohit and Jaiswal occupying the crease for much of day 2. Rohit scored his 10th Test century and Jaiswal got his ton on debut. Rohit was dismissed for 103 in 221 balls, consisting of 10 fours and two sixes. This ended a 229-run opening stand.

Next, it was Jaiswal and Virat Kohli who had a partnership of 110 runs for the third wicket. Jaiswal was dismissed after scoring 171 in 387 balls, consisting of 16 fours and a six. Kohli missed out on his century, scoring 76 in 182 balls consisting of five boundaries.India declared their innings at 421/5, with Ravindra Jadeja (37*) and debutant Ishan Kishan (1*) unbeaten.Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Rahkeem Cornwell, Jomel Warrican and Alick Athanaze took a wicket each for the hosts.

Also Read | We let ourselves down with the bat, says Windies skipper Brathwaite

India led by 271 runs.In reply, West Indies once again looked ill-equipped to face the spin assault by Ashwin-Jadeja duo. Both all-rounders showcased the magic of their spin once again, bundling out Windies for just 130 runs.Alick Athanaze (28) and Jason Holder (20*) were the only ones who could touch the 20-run mark for Windies.Ashwin took 7/71 and Jadeja took 2/38. Mohammed Siraj got one wicket.

Jaiswal won the 'Man of the Match' for his century. India is leading the two-match series 1-0.

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