Ravichandran Ashwin handed cricket-crazed India the ideal Christmas present as he finished off the tense chase against Bangladesh in style by hitting a flurry of boundaries against Mehidy Hasan Miraz. This was the perfect gift for a country that is obsessed with sport.
After being reduced to 74/7 and being set a target of 145, India was in danger of losing the match in Mirpur until Ravichandran Ashwin and Shreyas Iyer joined forces to secure a triumph that will live long in the memory.
In the first innings of the Mirpur Test, Ashwin reached a big milestone, but his heroic performance in the second innings eclipsed this achievement.
When Ashwin hit Shakib al Hasan for a four during the third session of day two of the second test, he brought up his 3,000th run in the series. Shakib al Hasan is the captain of Bangladesh.
Following his performance, which earned him the Player of the Match award, social media was inundated with remarks comparing him to Kapil Dev, who is widely considered to be India’s finest all-rounder. The analogies, on the other hand, were not made for no cause at all.
After Dev, Ravichandran Ashwin was only the second Indian player in history to achieve the “Test double” of 3,000 runs scored and 400 wickets taken. This accomplishment has only been accomplished by four other cricket players up until this point: Sir Richard Hadlee, the late Shane Warne, Shaun Pollock, and Stuart Broad.
In addition to this, Ashwin has played 88 tests, making him the second fastest player to reach this milestone, after only Hadlee, who did so in 83 matches. When his countryman Dev grabbed his 400th wicket in his 115th test, he attained the milestone that had eluded him for so long.
Warne and Broad have found a spot in the list solely thanks to their handy lower-order batting and lengthy careers. Dev and Hadlee were members of the ‘all-rounder quartet’ of the 1980s, which also included Imran Khan and Ian Botham. Warne and Broad have earned a place in the list.
It is anticipated that Ashwin’s all-round record would make headlines once more in February 2023 if he is successful in taking his 450th Test wicket against the Australian squad that is touring India.
In doing so, he will join Warne and Broad as the only players in test cricket history to have 450 wickets and 3,000 runs. However, as an all-around performer in the modern era, he will have no equal.
The mesmerising numbers that Ashwin has amassed with his bowling are light years ahead of his batting record. It is mostly owing to his lack of batting achievements in limited overs cricket that several critics hesitate to call him a “true” all-rounder. This is the primary reason.
However, the meaning of the term “all-rounder” itself can be construed in a number of different ways. While Hadlee and Dev were classic instances of “bowling all-rounders,” Sir Garfield Sobers and Jacques Kallis are possibly the most well-known examples of “batting all-rounders.” In the long run, all-rounders are likely to be more dominating on either batting or bowling, depending on which aspect they specialise in.
Let’s do some in-depth statistical analysis to better understand Ashwin’s performance across the board in the Tests.
The similarities between Ravichandran Ashwin and Hadlee in terms of their statistical profile are pretty obvious. In the same vein as Hadlee, Ashwin is regarded as a “bowling all-rounder.” Hadlee had 431 wickets in 86 Test matches, while Ashwin had 442 wickets in the same number of matches as Hadlee.
Both players have a significant number of five-wicket hauls and ten-wicket hauls to their names; Hadlee has 36 five-wicket hauls, while Ashwin has 30 five-wicket hauls and seven 10-wicket hauls to his name.
While Hadlee finished his career with 3,124 runs scored at an average of 27.17, Ashwin has scored 3,043 runs at an average of 27.41.
The off-spinner has a chance to become the second fastest bowler to reach 450 wickets, behind only Muttiah Muralitharan, in the month of February 2023.
The other two bowlers in the “450 wicket-3,000 run club,” namely Warne and Broad, are not even close to reaching this milestone. In addition to this, their batting averages are significantly below the threshold of 20, which is required to be an all-rounder.
Despite the fact that his batting has suffered significantly since 2017, it is anticipated that Ashwin will be the player who joins the “450 wicket-3,000 run club” the soonest.
The off-spinner reached 2,000 Test runs in 71 innings, which was faster than Hadlee, Khan, and Pollock but slower than Botham by five innings and more than Dev by one inning.
After hitting this milestone, Ashwin had the opportunity to retain or enhance his batting stats, which would have allowed him to break Hadlee’s all-round record by a significant margin.