R Ashwin has been India's leading spinner in Test cricket for the major part of the last decade. The off-spinner who has a plethora of variations up his sleeve has bamboozled batsmen with his deceptive spin bowling. Ashwin is currently a part of the Indian squad that is playing the India vs England 1st Test in Chennai.
The Indian spinner had a record to his name of not bowling a single no-ball in his entire Test career. However, on Saturday and Day 2 of the India vs England 1st Test, Ashwin ended up bowling the first no ball of his Test career. Ashwin, who has bowled more than 20,000 balls in his Test career, had never overstepped. But the bowled surprisingly bowled two no-balls during the first innings of the first Test.
In doing so, Ashwin came second to Australian spinner Nathan Lyon in this sense, who still has the record to his name. Lyon has never bowled a no-ball in his Test career, which is a testament to his accuracy and consistency. Despite bowling two no-balls, Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of 3/146 in 55.1 overs. The Chennai-based cricketer was instrumental in restricting the visitors to 578 as there was a point in the game where it seemed like England would score well above 650.
The Ashwin career stats in Test cricket make for a staggering read. The offie has played 75 Tests where he has managed to bag 380 wickets at a splendid average of 25.72 to go with 27 five-wicket hauls. Ashwin is nearing the 400-wicket mark in the longest format of the game and when he achieves the feat, he will become the fourth Indian bowler after Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan Singh (417) to do so.
Meanwhile, after restricting England to 578, India didn't get off to an ideal start as both their openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were dismissed in quick succession. Indian captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane's stays at the crease were also short-lived. However, Cheteshwar Pujara's patient knock of 73 and Rishabh Pant's counter-attacking 91 helped India recover from a precarious situation.
At the time of publishing this article, India's scoreboard read 289/6 after 81.3 overs with Washington Sundar batting on 57 and R Ashwin unbeaten on 16. The hosts are still trailing by 289 runs and need another 89 runs to avoid follow on. India would hope that the two batsmen stitch a long partnership and help India avoid follow on. On the other hand, England would look to wrap the Indian innings as soon as possible.
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