Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin today (November 27) set an Indian record in Test cricket and also emulated legends Shane Warne and Muttaiah Muralitharan.
During the fourth day of the second Test between India and Sri Lanka, Ashwin yet again proved he is the country's number one spinner in the five-day format as he troubled the visitors at Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium.
Also read: Ashwin breaks Lillee's record
On the first ball of the 36th over, it was a moment to cherish for Ashwin as he trapped Dilruwan Perera LBW for a duck to complete 50 wickets in a year for the third consecutive time. He is the first Indian to achieve the feat and overall third after Warne and Muralitharan.
Perera's wicket was also Ashwin's 500th in international cricket. He has 150 scalps in ODIs and 52 in T20Is.
Ashwin had bagged 62 Test wickets in 2015 and 72 in 2017. It is a remarkable feat for the Tamil Nadu slow bowler after being recently ignored for limited-overs selection. The 31-year-old made his Test debut against West Indies in 2011.
Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh too had taken 50 wickets or more in a year on three occasions. But they never did it in successive years.
Perera's wicket was his 298th. He added two more to become the fastest to 300 Test wickets. India won by an innings and 239 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match rubber against the islanders.
India-Sri Lanka three-Test series ends in Delhi next week. After this, the teams play three ODIs and three T20Is. In January-February 2018, India play three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is against the hosts in South Africa.