India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday dismissed England all-rounder Ben Stokes with a peach of a delivery to go past the tally of Harbhajan Singh in home Tests.
The wicket of Stokes was Ashwin’s 266th scalp in India and with that he surpassed Harbhajan’s 265 dismissals, which are the second-highest by an Indian bowler on home soil. Only Anil Kumble with 350 wickets has got more dismissals on home soil for an Indian bowler.
Speaking after picking up his 29th 5-wicket haul on Sunday, Ashwin said that breaking Harbhajan Singh’s record was incredibly special.
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) February 14, 2021
“When I was watching the 2001 series where Bhajju Pa (Harbhajan) was playing, I didn’t even imagine that I would go out and become an off-spinner for the country.
“So, from there on to come one and actually break the record of something that he possesses, has to be incredibly special. I didn’t know of it, now that I do know of it, I feel happy. Sorry, Bhajju Pa…,” said Ashwin.
According to Ashwin, a lot of his teammates, when he was young, would make fun of him as he used to try bowling like Harbhajan.
“Lot of my teammates from that age, from that generation, you know, used to make fun of me, because I used to bowl like Bhajju Pa, my action, I used to try and bowl like him and all that,” he added.
Ashwin has an excellent record in India
Ashwin’s wickets at home have come at an excellent average of 22.67.
The 34-year-old seasoned campaigner has picked five wickets in an innings a staggering 29 times and 10-wicket hauls seven times, with a best innings figures of 7/59 and match return of 13/140.
On Sunday, his 5/43 helped India bowl out England for 134 in their first innings and take complete command of the ongoing match at Chepauk.