Ashwin reaches huge milestone on Day 3, equivalent to Richard Hadlee’s record

Ravichandran Ashwin achieved a remarkable feat on Sunday during the final session of the ongoing second Test against New Zealand. The veteran off-spinner scalped three wickets, putting the visitors under pressure in the hard pursuit of 540 in Mumbai. He started by rejecting both openers – Tom Latham and Will Young. As soon as he took Ross Taylor down to complete his third wicket, he got his name engraved in the record books.

Ashwin became the first bowler ever to pick 50 test wickets in a calendar year. Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi is next on the list with 44 wickets, followed by his compatriot Hasan Ali (39 wickets).

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The 35-year-old, who recently became the third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket for India, has so far taken a total of 7 wickets in the ongoing Mumbai Test. Initially, he recorded the figures 4 for 8 in 8 overs as India bundled the Kiwis to 62.

When he scalped three more on Sunday, Ashwin equalized the former New Zealand major Richard Hadlee’s number of most wickets – 65 – in India vs New Zealand Test matches. While the latter took 24 innings to reach the milestone, the Indian off-spinner reached there in 17 innings.

New Zealand self-destructed, chasing an unlikely 540-run goal to be 140 for five at stumps on day three. Visitors are expected to complete the formalities on day four on Monday.

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India declared their second innings of 276 for seven in the second session. First innings centurion Mayank Agarwal top-scored with 62, while Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill made 47 each. Axar Patel smashed 41 of 26 balls with four sixes and three fours.

Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel followed up on his historic 10-wicket move with four more scalps in India’s second essay.

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