In only his 54th match, R Ashwin became the quickest bowler to take 300 wickets in Test history. His 4 for 63 in the second innings in Nagpur not only helped India wrap up their biggest win in the format, and but also meant he took over from Dennis Lillee (56 Tests) as the new record holder. Ashwin also beat Muttiah Muralitharan, who had been the fastest spinner to 300 wickets, by as many as four Tests.

Ashwin is only the eighth spinner in the world to achieve 300 Test wickets, following his countrymen Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. Among all India bowlers, only four others have got to the landmark. A telling measure of Ashwin's effectiveness is that, among spinners, he required the fewest balls to get to 300 wickets. He edged Shane Warne out by a small matter of 477 overs.

Fewest deliveries* to 300 Test wickets among spinners
Bowler Team Inns bowled Balls*
  R Ashwin   IND  101  15636
  Shane Warne   AUS  116  18501
  Muttiah Muralitharan   SL  91  18622
  Rangana Herath   SL  124  19367
  Harbhajan Singh   IND  132  19876
  Anil Kumble   IND  116  20664
  Daniel Vettori   NZ  152  22981
  Lance Gibbs   WI  140  25830

* Balls bowled at the end of the match in which the milestone was achieved

Not surprisingly, Ashwin's strike-rate is much better than those of other spinners at the end of the Test in which they reached 300 wickets. In fact, among bowlers from the subcontinent only Waqar Younis has fared batter. Among all 31 players who have taken at least 300 wickets, only 10 had a better strike-rate at the end of the Test in which they raised the milestone.

Best SRs for subcontient bowlers at 300 wickets*
Bowler Team Ave SR
  Waqar Younis   PAK  22.44  42.04
  R Ashwin   IND  25.06  52.07
  Imran Khan   PAK  21.90  52.27
  Wasim Akram   PAK  22.91  53.44
  Kapil Dev   IND  29.05  58.58
  Zaheer Khan   IND  32.56  59.91
  Muttiah Muralitharan   SL  25.17  61.66
  Rangana Herath   SL  30.10  64.75
  Chaminda Vaas   SL  28.81  65.07
  Harbhajan Singh   IND  30.77  65.31
  Anil Kumble   IND  28.04  68.88

* Strike-rate at the end of the match in which the milestone was achieved

Ashwin made his Test debut in 2011 and has taken just over six years to get to 300 wickets, helped by the increase in number of matches India have played in the last few years . That places him second only to Warne, who took exactly six years to get there. Among India bowlers, Kapil Dev was the quickest. He took 8 years and 80 days.

Quickest bowlers to 300 Test wickets (time from debut)*
Bowler Milestone achieved* Debut Time
 Shane Warne  02-Jan-98  02-Jan-92  6 yrs, 0 days
 R Ashwin  24-Nov-17  06-Nov-11  6 yrs, 18 days
 Ian Botham  09-Aus-84  28-Jul-77  7 yrs, 12 days
 Glenn McGrath  01-Dec-00  12-Nov-93  7 yrs, 12 days
 Stuart Broad  06-Aug-15  09-Dec-07  7 yrs, 240 days

* From debut date to the start date of the match in which the milestone was achieved

Shiva Jayaraman is a senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo @shiva_cricinfo