Ashwin delighted about 500th Test wicket but focus firmly on England going into Day 3

Ravichandran Ashwin entered the elite 500 Test wickets club on Day 2 of the third Test against England in Rajkot.

Ravichandran Ashwin endured a considerable wait for his 500th Test wicket, starting the series against England with the milestone 10 wickets out of reach.

The moment eventually arrived on Day 2 of the third match when Zak Crawley's attempted sweep ended up in the hands of Rajat Patidar, marking Ashwin's 500th scalp in Test cricket.

After the day's play concluded, Ashwin reflected on his journey, acknowledging the pivotal role of his father. However, he remained focused on the task at hand, recognizing the delicate balance of the Test match.

"I would like to dedicate this to my father, he's responsible for everything I've done in my life,” Ashwin said speaking to the broadcasters. "I'm sure he will be very happy today.

“But yeah, 500 wickets done and dusted now, and we've got a game hanging in the balance."

Ashwin became the second-fastest bowler to 500 Test wickets, achieving the feat in 98 Tests. He bettered compatriot Anil Kumble (105 Tests) and is only behind the legendary Muttiah Muralidaran (87) in the list.

Fastest to 500 Test wickets

PlayerNumber of matches
Muttiah Muralidaran (SL)87
Ravichandran Ashwin (IND)98
Anil Kumble (IND)105
Shane Warne (AUS)108
Glenn McGrath (AUS)110

While basking in the glory of his recent achievement, Ashwin also took a moment to reflect on a journey marked by its fair share of challenges. He recalled the testing period in 2018-19 when he was dropped from the Indian team in the middle of their series against Australia and subsequently found himself excluded from the tour of the West Indies as well.

"Life has had its ups and downs and for me, the lowest part for me was that 2018-2019 period," he said. "I was the ICC cricketer of the year and on top of the world and from there to actually go to a really bottomless pit was a very dark time in my life. Generally, I'm not someone who is fazed by the downs in life but that was a really dark tunnel for me and I don't know what hit me and how I got placed there. Injuries followed, I had a couple of injuries as a bowler, the adductor strain and all that.

"And when I thought it was all almost done, was when the world got hit by a pandemic and that gave me a really good reflection of where I stood in life, what I wanted to play for, and to find new meaning of what this game stood for me. This game is all I love and I think I had lost some of that love before that and I managed to discover it.

"I'd be lying if I said 500 doesn't mean anything. It probably does. At the moment, it hasn't sunk in, but like I said 2020 onwards the way I look at the game, my life, has been different to before. I've rediscovered the joy of playing the sport again.”

Ashwin reveals turning point in India's World Test Championship campaign | WTC Final

Ravichandran Ashwin names the moment that he believes turned around India’s hopes of reaching the ICC World Test Championship Final.

Ashwin will have a key role to play in the remainder of the Test match with England seizing momentum through Ben Duckett’s 118-ball 133*.

Centuries from Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja in addition to crucial lower-order runs – including 37 from Ashwin’s bat – propelled India to 445 but England’s fiery response put the hosts on the back foot.

As Day 2 concluded, England swiftly advanced to 207/2 at an almost run-a-ball rate, narrowing the gap to just 238 runs behind India's first-innings total.

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