5 Occasions when Ravi Ashwin spun a web around the batsmen in Tests
Updated - Sep 17, 2020 10:59 am
Theunis De Bruyn was the man on strike. The ball from the hand of the off-spinner pitched outside off stump, turned viciously, and castled the right-hander. The batsman appeared clueless as his stumps were shattered. And with that dismissal, Ravi Ashwin picked up his 350th wicket in Test cricket, and became the joint fastest bowler ever to do so (along with the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan).
In a career that has spanned a decade, Ashwin has carved a niche for himself as India’s biggest match winner with the ball, especially at home. He is already the 4th highest wicket-taker for India in Tests, and has a stunning 27 five-wicket hauls to his name. Ashwin is a colossus in his own right, and has etched his name in the pantheon of greats to have worn the whites for India.
As the star off-spinner turns 34 today, let us have a look at 5 occasions when Ashwin spun a web around the opposition batsmen.
5. 7/145 vs South Africa, 2019
The touring South African side was tamed by Ashwin’s mastery with the ball at Visakhapatnam in the year 2019. After India batted first and posted a commanding 502/7 on the board, Ashwin took over with the red cherry in hand.
The right arm off-spinner was into the ‘thick of things’ as early as the 8th over of the South African innings. Ashwin gave the ball loop, the ball drifted, and spun sharply to beat Aiden Markram’s defense to crash onto the stumps. He then accounted for the wicket of De Bruyn as the batsman edged the ball into the waiting hands of the keeper.
The Tamil Nadu spinner also accounted for the wickets of Faf du Plessis and Quinton De Kock. While Du Plessis was pouched by Pujara at leg slip, the latter was cleaned up ‘through the gate’. Ravi Ashwin’s fifth wicket was another peach of a delivery that outfoxed Vernon Philander. The ball took the inside edge of the willow and all that Philander could hear was the sound of timber.
He then scalped Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada to finish with figures of 7/145. His stupendous performance with the ball, coupled with an effervescent performance by Rohit Sharma with the bat allowed India to trounce the visitors by 203 runs.