Ashwin achieves a new landmark

Ravichandran Ashwin’s seven for 83, a fabulous fourth-innings effort in the first Test of the ongoing four-Test series against West Indies at Antigua’s North Sound, made him only the second Indian bowler to end up with seven scalps in an innings in the Caribbean Islands.

Ashwin took five plus wickets in an innings for the first time outside of Asia and marched into the seven-plus-wickets in an innings club in the West Indies.   -  Reuters

Ravichandran Ashwin’s seven for 83, a fabulous fourth-innings effort in the first Test of the ongoing four-Test series against West Indies at Antigua’s North Sound, made him only the second Indian bowler to end up with seven scalps in an innings in the Caribbean Islands. The first Indian was the famous leg-spinner Subhash Gupte, who took seven for 162 in the first innings of a Test match at Port-of-Spain (January 1953).

That Test match was Gupte’s first in the West Indies and coincidently Ashwin's effort was in his first Test in the Caribbean. The difference though is that Ashwin’s endeavour resulted in a resounding win, while Gupte’s performance forced a draw. By his thoughtful bowling of finger spin, Ashwin has filled up one lacuna that showed up in his excellent Test match career. He took five plus wickets in an innings for the first time outside of Asia and marched into the seven-plus-wickets in an innings club.

There are only 24 instances of bowlers taking seven wickets in a Test innings, in the West Indies, and England seamer Angus Fraser has done it twice (eight for 75 at Bridgetown in 1993-94, and eight for 53 at Port-of-Spain in 1997-98). West Indies’ Corey Collymore has also done it twice (seven for 57 against Sri Lanka in 2003 at Kingston, and seven for 78 against Pakistan in 2005 at Kingston).

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Other notable Indian bowling performances in the Caribbean: Ishant Sharma (six for 55, Bridgetown, 2011), Anil Kumble (six for 78, Kingston, 2006), Kapil Dev (six for 84, Kingston), Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (six for 120, Port-of- Spain, 1975-76). There are 19 more instances of Indians taking five wickets in an innings, with off spinner Harbhajan Singh doing it three times. 

Gupte’s seven victims were: Jeff Stollmeyer, Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes, Bruce Pairaudeau, Gerry Gomez, Frank King and Alf Valentine. Ashwin’s seven were: Rajendra Chandrika,Devendra Bishoo, Marlon Samuels, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel.

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