Birthday special: Ravichandran Ashwin – Top three Test spells by the wily off-spinner

Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the greatest Test bowlers of the modern era. While Ashwin has taken 150 wickets in ODIs and 52 wickets in T20Is, his real greatness lies in the fact that he is India’s 4th highest wicket-taker in Test cricket and has scalped a whopping 413 wickets in the whites.

Also, Ashwin has picked up 30 five-wicket hauls in the longest format of the game as well. As the legendary spinner turns 35 today, let us take a look at the three best spells from Ashwin in Test match cricket.

6/31 vs New Zealand

In August 2012, the New Zealand batsmen succumbed to the guile and craft of Ravichandran Ashwin with the ball. India batted first and posted a total of 438 on the board. In reply, New Zealand were bowled out for a paltry total of 159, and it was Ashwin who caused most of the damage with the red cherry in hand.

The wily off-spinner bowled 16.3 overs and picked up 6 wickets in the process. Also, Ashwin leaked just 31 runs as well. New Zealand were asked to follow on, and in the second innings, the Kiwis were bowled out for 164, and went down to India by an innings and 115 runs. Ashwin scalped 6 wickets in the second innings as well.

7/83 vs West Indies

This sublime spell from Ravichandran Ashwin came in the year 2016, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. India batted first and piled up a mammoth total of 566 on the board. The West Indies were bowled out for just 243 in reply and were asked to follow on.

And, it was in the second innings that Ashwin spun his web around the hapless West Indies willow wielders. The right arm off-spin bowling legend scalped 7 wickets in the 25 overs that he bowled and gave away 83 runs, and the hosts were bowled out for 231. Indian pummeled their opposition by an innings and 92 runs.

7/59 vs New Zealand

The best spell of Ravichandran Ashwin’s Test career came in the year 2016, against the New Zealand side at Indore. India batted first and piled up a massive total of 557/5 in the first innings. In reply, New Zealand was bowled out for 299. India declared their second innings with their scorecard reading 216/3, and set the Black Caps a target of 475 for victory.

In the second innings, the New Zealand batsmen were rendered clueless by the guile and magic of Ashwin. Ashwin picked up his career-best figures of 7/59 in the second innings, as the visitors were bowled out for just 153, handing India a crushing 321-run victory.