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India’s Ashwin second fastest to reach 200 Test wickets

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KANPUR: Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has become the second fastest bowler to claim 200 Test wickets, achieving the milestone in his 37th match.

Ashwin is just behind former Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who took 36 Tests to achieve the feat, and ahead of greats Waqar Younis of Pakistan and Australia’s Dennis Lillee who both took 38 Tests.

Ashwin reached 200 by dimissing New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson in Kanpur, where India are playing their 500th Test.

“Kane Williamson is not a bad 200th scalp. I had a few good wickets in my career. AB de Villiers in Nagpur was very well set up,” a delighted Ashwin told reporters.

The lanky spinner, who bowled Williamson in the first innings with a beautiful delivery that spun from outside the off stump, trapped the batsman lbw the second time around.

“Kane Williamson’s wicket in the first innings of this match was a very good ball. Sangakkara in Sri Lanka… these are some of the wickets I cherish in my career and I hope I can create more in the future,” he said.

Ashwin also talked about Grimmett, who played for Australia between 1925-36, being a “better man” than him when asked if he had any regrets about not being the fastest to the feat.

“It’s fine. There are a lot of good things to look at. Lot of good memories in my 5-6 years of international cricket. Looking back and feeling sour is not the right way to go about it,” he said.

The 30-year-old from Chennai, who made his debut against the West Indies in 2011, is currently ranked third in the International Cricket Council ratings for Test bowlers.

Ashwin, who has become India’s frontline bowler, is the fastest off-spinner in history to reach 200 wickets.

Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan managed to take 200 wickets in 42 Tests, followed by Lance Gibbs of the West Indies, Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq and India’s Harbhajan Singh.

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