R Ashwin became the fastest man on Earth to pick up 300 Test wickets when he dismissed Sri Lanka's Lahiru Gamage to help India win the second Test in Nagpur by an innings and 239 runs on Monday, November 27.
The Tamil Nadu off-spinner needed only 54 Tests — two fewer than legendary Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee — to achieve the milestone. Ashwin picked up eight wickets in Nagpur as India completed a dominant win to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Notably, Ashwin also broke Lillee's record of fastest to 250 wickets during the one-off Test in Hyderabad against Bangladesh earlier this year.
He has also become only the fifth Indian bowler after Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434), Harbhajan Singh (417) and Zaheer Khan (311) to pick up 300 Test wickets. The tall off-spinner also picked up his 500th international wicket when he dismissed Dilruwan Perera on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Ashwin also matched Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne's records of picking up 50-plus wickets in a calendar year for the third consecutive time. He had picked up 62 wickets in 2015 and 72 in 2016, which also earned him the ICC Cricketer of the Year Award last year.
50 wickets in Tests for Ravi Ashwin this year. He becomes first Indian & only the third bowler in Test cricket to take 50 wickets in THREE consecutive years. He had 62 wkts in 2015 & 72 in 2016.— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) November 27, 2017
Warne & Muralitharan are the other 2 bowlers to do so.#INDvSL #SLvIND #INDvsSL
Ashwin, who is being overlooked for India's limited-over commitments, returned empty-handed on a green track in the first Test of the ongoing three-match series in Kolkata. However, the off-spinner was in his elements in Nagpur, picking up four wickets in the first innings.
The 31-year-old had his tail up in the morning session on Monday as he was able to put pressure on Sri Lanka, who were trailing India's first-innings total of 610 by 405 runs. He picked up the wickets of Dasun Shanaka, Perera and Rangana Herath in quick succession to deny the visitors any chance of saving the Test.