The highly anticipated third Test between India and England in Rajkot promises not just an enthralling battle for series supremacy, but also the potential for two monumental individual achievements. All eyes will be on veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who stands on the cusp of two historic milestones:
500 Test Wickets:
Ashwin currently has 497 wickets in Test cricket, needing just three more to become the ninth bowler in history and only the second Indian (after Anil Kumble) to reach the coveted 500-wicket mark. He came tantalisingly close in the previous Test at Vizag, only for a review to overturn his apparent 500th wicket. The passionate Indian crowd in Rajkot will be roaring him on to achieve this feat on home soil.
100 Test Wickets vs England:
Ashwin is also just three wickets away from becoming the first Indian bowler to claim 100 Test wickets against England. Currently, he sits at 97 scalps, the highest for India against the English but falling short of the elusive three-figure mark. Achieving this milestone would add another layer of significance to his potential 500th wicket, solidifying his legacy as a tormentor of English batsmen.
Reaching these landmarks won’t be a cakewalk for Ashwin. England boasts a strong batting line-up, with Joe Root in imperious form and Ollie Pope showing glimpses of brilliance. The Rajkot pitch is known to be more batting-friendly compared to the turning tracks Ashwin thrives on.
Adding Spice to the Contest:
These individual pursuits add another layer of excitement to the already high-stakes Test. Ashwin’s quest for glory could potentially influence India’s bowling tactics and England’s batting approach. The battle between him and the English batsmen promises to be a captivating subplot within the larger narrative of the Test match.
While Ashwin takes the spotlight, other players from both sides have their own milestones and contributions to strive for. James Anderson, the veteran English pacer, needs just five wickets to reach 700 in Tests, another historic achievement. The series is currently tied 1-1, making every wicket and run crucial.
The upcoming Test in Rajkot promises to be a thrilling encounter, not just for the series decider but also for the potential individual milestones on the horizon. Whether Ashwin achieves his double delight or not, the contest is sure to be a captivating spectacle for cricket fans worldwide.
Note: This article is based on information available as of February 13, 2024. The actual match situation and player performances may differ.
DISCLAIMER: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.