R Ashwin made his debut in India’s Border Gavaskar Trophy match against Australia. On the first day of the Nagpur Test, the star off-spinner didn’t get his first wicket until 10 overs into play. Alex Carey was unable to defend against Ashwin’s bowling around the wicket, and was bowled while attempting a reverse sweep. Carey, who scored 36 points on only 33 balls, heavily relied on the reverse sweep. He stumbled and had to walk back with Australia on the verge of a slight comeback after Carey’s seven fours.
As a result, Ashwin’s achievements became even more impressive. Ashwin bowled Carey for his 450th Test wicket, making him India’s second-highest wicket-keeper all-time. It took Ashwin 89 Tests to reach the milestone, making him the fastest Indian bowler to do so. Anil Kumble held this record before Ashwin, having won four matches. When Kapil Dev was still captain of India, he claimed his 450th Test victim, a Pakistani, at Eden Gardens in 2005. After the great Muttiah Muralitharan, who achieved the feat in only 80 Tests for 450 wickets, Ashwin is now the second-fastest.
India finally got on the board thanks to Ashwin’s wicket after giving up a few runs to Carey and Pater Handscomb. Prior to Ashwin’s arrival, the two Australian batters had put on 53 runs for the seventh Australian wicket. Ashwin followed up his earlier success by dismissing Pat Cummins three overs later, with Virat Kohli taking a simple catch at first slip. Two of Australia’s six wickets fell in the afternoon session, with Ashwin taking two and Jadeja taking the other four.
Australia went from 76/4 to 174/8 at tea before being bowled out early in the final session of the day. Ravindra Jadeja finished with a five-wicket haul, his eleventh in Tests, and Ashwin finished the innings by dismissing Scott Boland for the final wicket. Ashwin is also on the verge of reaching a major milestone: 100 wickets in Tests against Australia. Before the Nagpur Test began, he had 89 wickets against the Aussies, and with three more, he will be eight wickets short of the record. He will almost certainly have arrived by the end of this four-game Test series.
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