Chennai’s local lad Ravichandran Ashwin joined an elite list on Sunday when he went past former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to register the most number of wickets on home soil on Day 2 of the 2nd Test between India and England in Chennai.
Ashwin, who bagged the wickets of Dom Sibley, Dan Lawrence before lunch returned after the break to outfox Ben Stokes and overtake Singh’s tally of 265.
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Ashwin now has 266 victims at home in the longest format of the game in just 45 Tests at an outstanding average of 22.64.
Former India captain Anil Kumble leads the list with 350 wickets from 62 matches in India.
Earlier, Indian spinners had England reeling on an exploding pitch, reducing them to 39 for four at lunch on day two of the second Test on Sunday.
India, who resumed the day at 300 for six, could only score 29 runs in the morning session with Rishabh Pant (58 not out of 77 balls) running out of partners.
At the break, England were trailing India by 290 runs and face a herculean task in getting close to India’s first innings score of 329 on a dustbowl.
Pacer Ishant Sharma (1/15) provided the first breakthrough for India when he had left-handed opener Rory Burns LBW for a duck with a ball that nipped back and beat his defensive push.
The other opener Dom Sibley (16, 25 balls, 3X4) was the next to go, caught by Virat Kohli at leg-slip off Ashwin, which was given by the third umpire after India chose to review as the on-field umpire turned down the appeal for a catch.