Ravichandran Ashwin is just 10 wickets away from completing 500 wickets in Tests. He has played 95 Tests and can play his 100th Test in the 5-match series against England starting from January 25. As soon as Ashwin takes 13 wickets in the series, he will complete 400 wickets in Asia also.
Among the current spinners, only Australia's Nathan Lyon has taken more Test wickets than Ashwin but he bowls 63 balls to take one wicket. Whereas Ashwin takes a wicket only on every 51st ball. Which is better than the 8 bowlers who have taken more Test wickets than him. Among the active spinners, only Lion, Ravindra Jadeja and Shakib Al Hasan are seen standing in competition with Ashwin. Do you know how his test performance is compared to Ashwin.
Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 490 wickets in 95 tests. He has also taken 10 or more wickets in a match 8 times. Ashwin takes a wicket on almost every 51st ball in Tests. He is India's second most successful bowler in terms of most wickets in Tests. Only leg spinner Anil Kumble has been able to take more wickets than him, 619.
Ashwin has taken 148 wickets in 30 matches of the World Test Championship (WTC) which started in 2019. He is at third place among the top wicket takers of WTC. Australia's Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins are ahead of them.
In Asia, Ashwin has taken 387 wickets in just 46 Tests. In spin conditions, he takes a wicket on every 46th ball. By taking 13 wickets in the series, he will become the first active spinner to take 400 wickets in Asia. Overall, Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (618) and India's Anil Kumble (419) have taken more wickets than him.
Ashwin will complete 500 Tests as soon as he takes 10 wickets in the series against England. Till now only 8 bowlers have been able to take 500 Test wickets, Ashwin can become the 9th bowler and the fifth spinner to do so. Looking at the spin pitches of India, it is possible that Ashwin's bowling strike rate may also reach below 50. Which no one has been able to do in taking more wickets than him.
Australian spinner Nathan Lyon has 512 wickets in his name, but he has played 126 matches. Whereas Ashwin has played only 95 matches. That means Lion takes an average of 4 wickets in every match and Ashwin takes an average of 5 wickets. In Test cricket, Ashwin's bowling strike rate (balls bowled to take one wicket) is also better than Lion. Ashwin takes a wicket on every 51st ball in Test, whereas Lion has to bowl 63 balls to get a wicket.
Even in WTC, Indian spinners are ahead in terms of bowling strike rate. In the championship, Lion has taken 169 wickets at a bowling strike rate of 60.5 and is the top wicket taker of the tournament. Whereas Ashwin has taken 148 wickets at a strike rate of 46.3. In the current season, Ashwin has taken 16 wickets in 3 matches at a strike rate of 40.87, while Lion has taken 25 wickets in 6 matches at a strike rate of 44.56.
The pitches of Asia are like heaven for spinners. But here too, Lion is taking about 62 balls to take a wicket. Whereas in Asia, Ashwin takes the wicket on the 46th ball itself.
Both are Indian spinners, but Ashwin is better than Ravindra Jadeja in many aspects. Be it the matter of wickets in Asia or career wickets or strike rate. Ravichandran Ashwin took 10 or more wickets in a match 8 times in his Test career, whereas Jadeja could do so only twice.
In his Test career, Jadeja has taken 275 wickets in 68 matches at a strike rate of 59.46. Jadeja has to bowl 59 balls to take a wicket, which is 8 more than Ashwin. Jadeja is definitely better than Ashwin in terms of batting and fielding. This is the reason why in most of the foreign tests in the last 10 years, he was given priority in the playing-11 of Team India instead of Ashwin.
Jadeja has taken 83 wickets in 27 matches of WTC, i.e. an average of 3 wickets in a match. Whereas Ashwin is taking an average of 5 wickets in every match. In 3 matches of the current season, Jadeja has been able to take only 7 wickets, which is 9 less than Ashwin.
Jadeja definitely takes wickets very fast in Asia. He has 207 wickets in his name in 42 Tests, which means on an average 5 wickets equal to Ashwin in every match. He takes a wicket on every 54th ball, here Ashwin definitely achieves success by bowling 8 balls less than him.
Among the world's top active spinners, Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan looks very weak in front of Ashwin, Lion and Jadeja. But Shakib had debuted 4 years before Ashwin in 2007 and is still playing Tests. 36 year old Shakib is currently among the best left arm spinners in the world.
Shakib has so far taken 233 wickets in 66 Tests at a bowling strike rate of 63.4. He has taken 10 wickets in the match twice, which is equal to Jadeja but much less than Ashwin. Shakib takes a wicket on every 63rd ball, which is equal to Lion but very weak compared to Ashwin.
His form has also been poor in the last few years. He could take only 16 wickets in 8 matches of the World Test Championship. He has not been able to take a single wicket in the current season. Being from Bangladesh, Shakib also played most of his tests in Asia. He has taken 170 wickets in 48 tests in Asia. He takes an average of 7 wickets in 2 matches, which is 3 less than Ashwin.
Shakib is also slightly better than Ashwin in terms of batting but in the ICC Test all-rounders rankings, Ashwin is ahead of Shakib. Shakib is at number three and Ashwin at number two, Jadeja is at number one. Ashwin is at the top in the bowlers' ranking.