World’s number 1 bowler R Ashwin took his maiden five-wicket haul against England on Saturday. England batsmen seemed to be dancing to his tune as he took the last three wickets leg before wicket. He took three wickets on Day 3. He got dangerous Ben Stokes out for 7o runs. Stuart Broad and James Anderson were also trapped by Ashwin in front of the wicket, showing how beautifully he uses the pitch and his strength as a bowler. R Ashwin took 5 wickets after giving away just 67 runs. England were bowled out for 255 runs against India’s first innings score of 455. This was R Ashwin’s 22nd five-wicket haul in Test cricket. But it was the first against England. (Also read: Hard taskmaster Virat Kohli’s stare to Ravindra Jadeja makes him fall in line)
Improved record against England
R Ashwin had a dismal record against England. His career average is a superb 24.75. However, his average against England before this match was 53. After this performance, his average has come down to 45.40, which is a massive improvement. (Also read: Mohammed Shami shatters Cook’s stumps, watch 10 wicket-breaking deliveries)
R Ashwin also reached a personal milestone. He took his 50th wicket in 2016. He is only behind Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath, who has taken 54 wickets in 2016. Ashwin will break surpass Herath easily as a lot of Test cricket is left in 2016 for R Ashwin and he has found his mojo against England. (Also read: Five reasons why Virat Kohli-led Indian side will win this match)
Brought India in match-winning position
R Ashwin was effect-less in the first Test match against England at Rajkot. He just took 3 wickets in the match and gave away more than 200 runs. And that is the reason England dominated the first Test match. However, this was not the case in the second Test match. Indian captain Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara hit a century and Ashwin hit a half-century to steer India’s score to 455 runs. To win the Test match against England to bowl them out early was the need of the hour. Ashwin bowled beautifully and got them out at 255 runs. India didn’t force follow on. They will give them a big target and will have ample time to bowl them out. Ashwin’s services will be needed again. At the moment, India are in a solid position and are favourites to win the match.