Ashwin dismissed Ollie Pope in the 28th over to overtake Zaheer’s tally at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday. Ashwin now has 599 wickets across formats and is only behind former skipper Anil Kumble (953), spinner Harbhajan Singh (707), and Kapil Dev (687).
The off-spinner is also on the brink of becoming the fourth Indian bowler to take 400 Test wickets.
Ashwin is just three wickets away from the glorious milestone in the longest format of the game. In the ongoing pink-ball Test, Ashwin along with Axar Patel spun a web as India bundled out England for a paltry 112 in the first innings.
Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped six wickets while Ashwin returned with three wickets as the visitors were bowled out in just 48.4 overs. This was Axar’s second five-wicket haul in a row as he had scalped five in the second innings of the second Test as well.
Skipper Virat Kohli might have lost the toss in the third Test, but his bowlers ensured that the hosts dominated the first session.
If the former England players were critical of the Chepauk wicket, the lack of application from the English batsmen in the first innings of the third Test can have no excuse.
Playing down the wrong line was the crux of the story and just like the top-order batsmen, Jofra Archer (11) too tried to cut a straight delivery and was clean bowled by Axar as the visitors were reduced to 93/7. This was Axar’s fourth scalp in the innings.
Jack Leach (3), Stuart Broad (3), and Ben Foakes (12) all failed to stay at the crease for long and as a result, the hosts have given themselves the best possible chance to make this contest a one-sided affair.