Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday added another feather to his cap when he became the fastest Indian and second fastest overall to the landmark of 200 Test wickets. The tall off-spinner from Chennai has been India’s premier weapon in Test cricket for a while now and the record is just a reflection of the same. When Anil Kumble, indisputably India’s greatest match winner with the ball in Tests, retired, the obvious question was who would replace him? There were other contenders too, as Harbhajan Singh briefly took up the mantle but soon faded away.

The arrival of Ashwin in late 2011 ensured that the search was over. And it is only apt that almost five years later, when he completed his 200 Test wickets, Kumble was around him in the capacity of Team India’s head coach. Ashwin has taken second fewest Tests to reach to the landmark. Only Australia’s Clarrie Grimmett took fewer Tests than him to reach to the milestone, as he completed his 200 Tests wickets in the 36th Test. His career did not last long after that and folded up on 37 Tests, in which he took 216 wickets. Ashwin had a good chance of equalling Grimmett’s feat, had the fourth Test at Port of Spain not been washed out.

After Grimmett and Ashwin, the pace duo of Dennis Lillee from Australia and Waqar Younis from Pakistan follows as it reached the landmark in 38 Tests. South African speedster Dale Steyn, who has long been the best bowler of this generation by a mile, took 39 Tests to get to the special figure. Though the spinners top this list, it is otherwise dominated by the pacers as next on this list is legendary all-rounder Ian Botham, who took 41 Tests to get to the 200-wicket mark.

Spinners then make a comeback on the list with Stuart McGill completing his 200 Test wickets in 41 Tests. MacGill’s career coincided with the wizard Shane Warne and he lost many Test matches for the same fact. His career eventually ended on 44 Tests and 208 wickets. Next on the list is the late Malcolm Marshall, one of the greatest pacers ever to have played the game. He took 42 Tests to get to the milestone.

Last two places on this list are taken by Warne, who took a Test more than MacGill to reach to the landmark and ‘white lightning’ Allan Donald, who also too equal number of matches, 42, to get to the special figure. Looking at the list, it is safe to assume Ashwin is in the elite company and is set to achieve greatness in the years to come. He has already shown the signs; six ‘Man-of-the-Series’ awards in his brief career shows how integral part he has become to India’s success.

Here’s the infographic on the 10 fastest men to 200 Test wickets:


Not just with the ball, but with the bat too Ashwin has proved that he is special. It is not for nothing that he is the No.1 all-rounder on ICC Rankings. The early signs are great and hopefully Ashwin will live up to the expectations to become an all time great by the time he hangs up his boots.