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.
* 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.
* 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.
|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