Ravichandran Ashwin equals Muttiah Muralitharan’s record to being fastest to 350 Test wickets
India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday became the joint-fastest to take 350 wickets, matching Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan’s feat in his 66th Test. Ravichandran Ashwin made an impressive comeback to international cricket after missing the West Indies Tests. The 33-year-old off-spinner claimed seven wickets in the first innings and followed it up with a single scalp that helped him become the joint-fastest to reach 350 Test wickets. Ashwin, who had taken his 27th five-wicket haul in the first innings of the opening Test against South Africa, castled Theunis de Bruyn with one that turned back sharply from wide outside the off-stump for his milestone wicket on day five here. The wily off-spinner has answered his critics with a stellar show in the first Test of the home season. Ashwin, who played his first international game since December 2018, warmed the bench in the two-Test series in the West Indies in August-September with Ravindra Jadeja being the preferred choice. Ahead of the first Test, skipper Virat Kohli had said that Ashwin remains India’s go-to spinner in home conditions. Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock scored centuries to put some fight for South Africa, taking them to 431 in reply to India’s first-innings total of 502/7 declared. However, Rohit extended the lead in the second innings with the help of another century at the top of the order. With two successive centuries, the limited-overs vice-captain stamped his authority on the opening slot in the longest format as well. Chasing a tough 395, South Africa lost Dean Elgar early and were reduced to 11/1 at stumps on Saturday. On the final day, Ashwin removed overnight batsman Theunis de Bruyn for 10 to claim his 350th wicket in his 66th Test. Sri Lanka’s legendary spinner Muralitharan, who retired in 2010, had also claimed 350 wickets in an equal number of matches. After that, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja took the centre stage. While fast bowler Shami claimed his fifth five-wicket haul in Tests, Jadeja starred with four scalps, including an incredible caught and bowled dismissal. After providing India with an early breakthrough on a penultimate day, Jadeja struck thrice in an over but missed a maiden hat-trick and a five-wicket haul on Sunday. Get Breaking news and Latest News from India and around the world on GlobalPunjabTV.in. Like us on Facebook for news updates. For more updates download Global Punjab App on Roku, Apple Tv, Amazon Fire Tv, IOS and Androids.