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Ravichandran Ashwin is scaling new heights with every outing in the longest form of the game, especially in the Indian subcontinent. The tall off-spinner from Chennai, who already has six ‘Man-of-the-Series’ awards in is 37-Test career so far, proved his worth yet again on Monday when India beat New Zealand by 197 runs in the first Test at Kanpur. During the process, he became the fastest Indian to reach 200 Test wickets, and the second fastest overall behind Clarrie Grimmet. In the fourth innings of the match, he took a five-wicket haul in a Test for the 19th time in his career.

Also, he completed his fifth 10-wicket haul in a Test, a feat which has put him in elite company. Ashwin is now on the seventh position, with a host of other eminent names, in the list of bowlers with most 10-wicket-hauls in their Test careers. He is now a part of the group which has legends like the Pakistani trio of pacers Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and spinner Abdul Qadir, South African speedster Dale Steyn, English legends Sir Alec Bedser and George Lohmann and compatriot Harbhajan Singh.

All these eight players are now joint seventh on the list of most 10-wicket-hauls in Test career. Out of these, only Ashwin and Steyn are active in international cricket these days. Harbhajan too has not announced his retirement, but he is currently running out of favour with the selectors. From this group, only Lohmann has taken fewer Tests than Ashwin in their careers till date. He played only 18 Tests in his career and his 112 wickets came at an astonishing average of 10.75 apiece. Only Harbhajan, Qadir and Ashwin have their bowling averages over 25, with the former two comfortably past 30 while Ashwin just marginally over it with an average of 25.06.

This group sits at the seventh position in the list, which is headed by the Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan. The iconic off-spinner had a mammoth 22 10-wicket-hauls in his illustrious Test career, which spanned over 18 years and 133 Tests. Murali is also the all-time highest wicket-taker in Tests with 800 scalps to his name. He is followed by another masterful spinner Shane Warne at No. 2 on this list. The Australian spin king Warne took 10 wickets in a Test 10 times in his career. Before Murali, he was the highest wicket taker with his 708 Test wickets.

Further down, the list has one of New Zealand’s greatest cricketers ever Sir Richard Hadlee at three. Hadlee, who is also one of the finest all-rounders the game has ever seen, achieved the feat 9 times in his career. Current Indian head coach Anil Kumble, who has also been India’s No. 1 match-winner in Tests by a mile, comes at the fourth position in this list with eight 10-wicket-hauls in his illustrious career.

After Kumble, England’s Sydney Barnes and the Australian duo of Grimmett and Dennis Lillee sit collectively at the fifth position with seven 10-wicket-hauls to their names. The trio is followed by another trio at the sixth position, with six 10-wicket-hauls in their Test career. The trio has former Pakistani captain Imran Khan, current Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath and English spinner Derek Underwood.

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Infographic designed by Srushti Takale

Out of all the names, who are ahead of Ashwin, only Herath is active in international cricket at the moment. But the Sri Lankan giant is at the fag end of his career, and is unlikely to make any significant additions to his number. Talking about numbers, Ashwin is looking set to become an all-time great by the time he finishes his career. He is only 30 as of now and has another 7-8 years of international cricket ahead of him. The signs are fantastic, and if he lives up to the early promise, here is a legend-in-the-making in front of us.

(A self-confessed cricket freak, Chinmay Jawalekar is a senior writer with CricLife and CricketCountry. When not writing or following cricket, he loves to read, eat and sleep. He can be followed here @CricfreakTweets)