Ravichandran Ashwin, the number one spinner in India turns 29 today. Ashwin, has been a key member of the Indian team since 2011 and has impressed one and all with his all round skills. Ashwin, in 28 Tests has bagged 145 wickets at an average of 28.44 which includes 5 wickets in an innings on 12 occasions and 10 wickets in a match on 3 occasions. Ashwin is a handy batsman lower down the order and in 28 Tests, has scored 1103 runs at an impressive average of 32.44 and has scored 2 centuries and 5 half centuries.
In ODIs, Ashwin has bagged 139 wickets in 99 matches at an average of 29.14. With the bat, Ashwin has scored 657 runs which includes a half century.
These statistics reflect the importance of Ashwin in the Indian team and Ashwin has proved his worth with both the bat and ball. Here is a look at some interesting facts about the birthday boy:
Ashwin attended SSN College of Engineering and graduated with a B.Tech in Information Technology.
2. Fastest Indian to reach 50 Test Wickets:
Ashwin became the fastest Indian bowler to pick up 50 wickets in test matches. Ashwin achieved this remarkable feat in just 9 Test matches and in the due course he bettered the record of the great Anil Kumble who held the said record of achieving this feat in 10 Tests.
3. Fastest Indian to reach 100 Test Wickets:
Ashwin did not get carried away by his impressive start to his Test career. Ashwin became the fastest Indian to bag 100 wickets in Tests when he achieved this feat in just 18 Tests bettering the record of EAS Prasana who till then held the Indian record of picking up 100 wickets in 21 Tests.
4. Man of the Match on Test Debut:
Ashwin, became the third Indian to win a Man of the Match award on his Test debut. Ashwin made his debut against the West Indies in 2011 at Delhi and in the said Test, he picked up 9 wickets (3/81 in the 1st innings) and (6/47 in the 2nd innings) which enabled India to thrash West Indies. The figures of Ravichandran Ashwin on test debut are second best for an Indian only after Narendra Hirwani who picked up 16 wickets on his Test debut.
5. First Indian to score a Hundred and bag 5 wickets in an innings :
Ashwin holds the distinction of becoming the first Indian to score a hundred and bagging 5 wickets in an innings in the same Test on two occasions. Ashwin scored a hundred against West Indies (103) at Mumbai and also picked up 5 wickets in the first innings (5/156).
6. Fastest to 500 Test runs along with 50 Test wickets:
Another remarkable achievement of Ashwin is that he shares the all round record of becoming the fastest cricketer to score 500 runs and pick up 50 wickets. He shares this record with Australian Jack Gregory and the English great all rounder Sir Ian Botham.
7. Awards aplenty:
Ashwin is the recipient of the Arjuna Award – India’s highest sporting honour – in 2014 (became the 47th cricketer to receive the Arjuna Award). He was also named BCCI’s cricketer of the year in 2012-13.
8. Opening Batsman:
One of the reasons for Ashwin’s sound technique with the bat is that he started his cricketing journey as an opening batsman. Later on Ashwin went on to become a spinner but he has proved that he is a very handy batsman lower down the order for India.
9. Seven Man of the Series Awards:
In a Test career which comprises of only 28 Tests, Ashwin has already bagged the Man of the Series award on 4 occasions which no other cricketer has achieved till date in his first 28 tests. Ashwin won his first Man of the Series award in his debut series against West Indies in 2011 when he picked up 22 wickets and scored 121 runs which included a century. The second Man of the Series award was against the New Zealand team in 2012 when Ashwin bagged 18 wickets in the 2 test series. The visiting Australian team crumpled against the Indian team in 2013 and Ashwin was the chief destroyer by picking up 29 wickets in the 4 test series which helped him to his third Man of the Series award. The 4th Man of the Series award was in the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in which Ashwin bagged 21 wickets which was the highest for any Indian bowler in Sri Lanka in a 3 match Test series.
10. Ashwin is also the third Indian cricketer to be awarded the Man of the Match (MoM) on debut.
11. R Ashwin married his childhood friend Preethi Narayanan on 13th November, 2011. It was a simple, private ceremony in Chennai, which was attended by family members and close friends.