Cricket

Ashwin breaks record as India crush Sri Lanka

2017-11-27 09:53
Ravichandran Ashwin (Gallo Images)

Nagpur - Spin wizard Ravichandran Ashwin played down comparisons with Dennis Lillee after his record-breaking feat on Monday helped India crush Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs in the second Test.

Ashwin became the fastest bowler to reach 300 Test wickets, taking 54 matches to reach the mark - two fewer than Aussie pace legend Lillee who terrorised batsmen in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The off-spinner was all humility when asked to comment on the enviable record, saying any comparison with the greats would be unfair.  

"We are a bit more blessed than the other greats. We have technology to help. We have help with our fitness. So we shouldn't compare," he said after the top-ranked hosts wrapped up the win inside four days to stamp their class.

"I really hope I can go on to double these 300 wickets. I've only played 50-odd Tests," said the 31-year-old, who finished with a match haul of 8-130.

"It's not easy bowling spin, it looks like you're just ambling up. But there's a lot behind it.

"We have bowled a lot of overs, me and Jaddu (fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja) in the last 24 months. I am a lot more experienced now." 

The victory equalled India's biggest Test win, achieved against Bangladesh in Dhaka 10 years ago.

Sri Lanka, who started the day on 21-1 after conceding a 405-run first innings lead, crashed to 166 all out, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the first game having ended in a draw.

Skipper Dinesh Chandimal put up some resistance with 61 but the rest of the batsmen fell by the wayside without showing much application.

Left-arm spinner Jadeja and fast bowlers Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma took two wickets each to underline India's all-round dominance.

Jadeja struck early in the morning session when he had opener Dimuth Karunaratne caught at short leg for 18.

The left-handed Karunaratne, who resumed the day on 11, got an inside edge on a tossed-up delivery from Jadeja and Murali Vijay took a sharp close catch.

Karunaratne's overnight partner Lahiru Thirimanne played a careless shot way outside off stump to hand a simple catch to Jadeja off Yadav for 23.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli hit a majestic double century on Sunday before India declared their first innings on 610-6 to take a firm grip on the match.

Kohli made 213 from 267 balls for his fifth double century in 62 Tests and won the man of the match award.

His innings featured big partnerships with Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma which pulverised the opposition. 

Pujara made 143, Rohit Sharma 102 not out and opener Vijay 128 in a brutal statement of intent from India which was later emphasised by the bowlers.

"It's all about creating pressure and that's what we did... All out four bowlers looked like getting a wicket any time," Rohit Sharma told reporters.

"For me personally it was very important because it's been nearly 500 days since I played my last Test match.

"I am glad that I could put some runs on the board for myself and the team," added Rohit Sharma, who was included in the team in place of paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Sri Lanka squandered the advantage of winning the toss and batting first as they were skittled out for 205 on the opening day.

"It was a good toss to win. Unfortunately we were outplayed from the first day. Our batting let us down again. When you're playing against India, you've got to score 350-plus," said Chandimal.

"The bowling unit has done a really good job. But if you have no runs on the board, they can't do anything."

The third and final Test starts in Delhi on December 2.

Read more on:    india  |  sri lanka  |  ravichandran ashwin  |  cricket
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