R Ashwin (left) and Pragyan Ojha bagged 42 wickets that fell during the recently-concluded three-match Test series against the West Indies © AFP

 

By Dileep V

 

Mumbai: Nov 29, 2011

 

Team India’s bowling, which has been the biggest sore point, fell to a new low in England a few months ago. But if the team bounced back strongly and remarkably quick time against the West Indies in India, it has largely to do with Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha who combined to give the Indian attack the kind of potency it has not seen in a very long time.

 

For any bowler to take 20 wickets in a series is remarkable achievement. For two bowlers of the same team to achieve that feat is very rare. Ashwin and Ojha achieved that rare feat against the West Indies to become only the fourth pair in the history of Test cricket to do so.

 

Incidentally, all the four records have been created in the subcontinent – two each in India and Sri Lanka.

 

The first pair to achieve this were India’s Narendra Hirwani and Arshad Ayub. The two combined to take 41 wickets against New Zealand in 1988. Ayub accounted for 21, while Hirwani got 20 wickets.

 

The other pairs to have achieved this feat are Chaminda VaasMuttiah Muralitharan against West Indies in 2001 and Ajanta Mendis-Muralitharan against India in 2008.

 

All these efforts resulted in series wins for their teams. 

 

List of bowling pairs who have captured 20 wickets each in a three-Test match series:

 

 

Bowlers

M

Inns

Wkts

Avg

SR

5WI/10WM

Opposition

Year

Arshad Ayub

3

6

21

13.66

56.1

       1/0

New Zealand

1988

Narendra Hirwani

3

6

20

19.50

50.4

       1/0

Chaminda Vaas

3

6

26

15.42

32.3

       2/1

West Indies

2001

Muttiah Muralitharan

3

6

24

22.33

54.4

       3/2

Ajanta Mendis

3

6

26

18.38

37.6

       2/1

India

2008

Muttiah Muralitharan

3

6

21

22.23

45.9

       2/1

Ravichandran Ashwin

3

6

22

22.90

46.3

       2/0

West Indies

2011

Pragyan Ojha

3

6

20

22.50

53.2

       2/0