India's premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has achieved unprecedented heights in his career so far. With the ability of changing the game on its head, Ashwin has become team's go-to-man in a short period of time. Ashwin on Monday became the fastest bowler to reach the milestone of 300 Test wickets. He achieved the feat in his 54th Test, which also resulted in India's thumping win with an innings and 239 runs over Sri Lanka in the second Test. Ashwin had started bowling in the Sri Lanka's second innings with 296 wickets to his name and quickly ran through the lower middle-order to reach the milestone. His 300th victim was Lahiru Gamage, who was bowled by a doosra. Ashwin has so far maintained a healthy average of 25.15 runs per wicket.
In a video interview posted by bcci.tv with fielding coach R Sridhar, Ashwin discussed his journey from his maiden wicket to getting into the 300 club.
"There have been a lot of special wickets. I will just pick a few. Probably, my first Test wicket of Darren Bravo will always be special. I have dismissed David Warner a few times. But, I would say amongst the 300 I have taken so far, Warner's wicket in Bangalore on Day 2 morning is one of the special. Not to forget the AB de Villiers' wicket in Nagpur in 2015," the off-spinner said.
"Kane Williamson four out of four was the another special trail I went on. He is not an easy batsman to be dismissed. Joe Root's wicket when he nicked to slip. Alastair Cook in Mohali. As I keep talking about it, I keep getting reminded about it and will talk more and more about dismissals. What is important for me is to look forward and perform," he said.
On being asked about his 100th, 200th and 300th victim in Tests, Ashwin was quick with his answers.
"100th was Darren Sammy (West Indies) in Mumbai, 200th was Kane Williamson (New Zealand) in Kanpur and 300th Lahiru Gamage (Sri Lanka) in Nagpur," Ashwin said.
With this incredible feat, Ashwin has also broken Australia legend Dennis Lillee's record. Australian fast bowling legend Lillee had reached the milestone in 56 Test matches way back in 1981 and it took 36 years for another bowler to eclipse the record.
Ashwin is also ahead of some of the illustrious names, who had completed the milestone in quick time.
Among them are Muttiah Muralitharan (58 Tests), Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall and Dale Steyn (61 Tests each).
Also, Ashwin is only the fifth Indian bowler to complete a career 300 wickets in Tests behind Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434), Harbhajan Singh (417) and Zaheer Khan (311). The illustrious trio of Bishan Singh Bedi (266), Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (242) and Erapalli Prasanna (189) are way behind the milestone man.