Ashwin's success story against left-handed batsmen

The experienced off-spinner on Sunday became the first bowler in Test history to dismiss 200 left-handed batsmen.

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after dismissing Dom Sibley.   -  SPORTZPICS/BCCI

R. Ashwin and records are never far away, particularly while playing at home.

The experienced off-spinner on Sunday became the first bowler in Test history to dismiss 200 left-handed batsmen.

Ashwin achieved the feat when he castled England’s No. 11 Stuart Broad. It is a stunning achievement and behind Ashwin in scalping left-handers are Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan (191), and England’s James Anderson (190).

This is Ashwin’s 45th Test at home and he has 268 scalps leaving behind fellow off-spinner Harbhajan Singh’s 265.

IND vs ENG: India extends lead after Ashwin takes five  

What makes Ashwin so effective against the left-handers? Apart from the ball turning away, it is the delivery that goes straight creates more trouble for the southpaws.

On Sunday, he got the ball to drift across to the left-handers. He did just that on the second day here and Ben Stokes was bowled in the process.

Then, Ashwin is someone who harnesses the angles cleverly. The same ball from a different angle behaves differently.

Moreover, the off-spinner got variations in his kitty. The carrom ball is a delivery that shapes away from the right-hander, and that same delivery drifts into the left-handed batsman.

Ashwin: Breaking Harbhajan's tally has to be incredibly special  

Ashwin is effective while bowling at the left-handers from round the wicket, giving them little room and cramping them for space. Then he imparts revs on the ball and has got the southpaws caught in the deep as the ball dips.

Ashwin, on Sunday, equalled Glenn McGrath’s record of 29 five-wicket innings hauls in Tests. Both are jointly in seventh place.

Ashwin has, after the England first innings, 268 home wickets in 45 home Tests at a healthy 22.54. And in 31 away Tests, he has 124 scalps at a creditable 31.18. 

The Chennai lad is definitely relishing his time at home.