He might have been outshadowed by Caribbean off-spinner Shane Shillingford at the Eden Gardens, but Ravichandran Ashwin’s record as an all-rounder is comparable to the best who have been in the business. While it is clear that he is a bowler who can bat, his statistics in the Test format will tell you a story. One that his skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would like to hear. Given that he is looking for an all-rounder.
Isn’t Ashwin one?
His footwork may not be pleasing to look at, but it’s his timing that is responsible for his success with the bat. These are good numbers. Our list looks at the runs and wickets that Imran Khan, Sir Richard Hadlee, Sir Ian Botham, Jacques Kallis, Sir Garfield Sobers and Kapil Dev raked up after playing 17 matches. After his saving the day knock of 92* along with Rohit Sharma, against the West Indies at Eden Gardens, Ashwin is ahead of Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Richard Hadlee. With the bat.
With the ball, Ashwin leads the pack, with 94 wickets. His closest competitor is Ian Botham, who had 87 wickets at the end of his 17th Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in February 1979. The new rules and the occasional men-who-pause action, may be responsible for his novelty wearing off in the ODIs. But in whites, it is clear that Ashwin is having the time of his life.
The 27-year old is eight runs short of his second century against the West Indies. But will it be fair to expect the man to deliver with both bat and ball?
Stats as on November 7, 2013 at stumps on Day 2 in the Kolkata Test.