India off-spinner Ravichandra Ashwin is on the cusp of achieving yet another in Test cricket. With India set to take on New Zealand in the first Test of the two-match Test series, starting from Thursday, November 25 in Kanpur, Ashwin could pip Harbhajan Singh as India’s third-highest wicket-taker in the longest format of the game. He is just 5 wickets shy of surpassing Harbhajan in the elite list. Harbhajan, with 417 wickets, is India’s third highest wicket-taker behind Anil Kumble (632) and Kapil Dev (434), respectively.
Meanwhile, Ashwin, with 413 wickets, is India’s fourth-highest wicket-taker in the longest format of the game. Ashwin enjoys a great record on home soil, and is likely to surpass Harbhajan in the list.
Also, Ashwin needs one more 10-wicket-haul to equal Anil Kumble’s record of most 10-fers by an Indian bowler. He has seven 10-wickets haul in the longest format compared to Kumble’s 8. Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan leads the list with 22 10-wicket hauls in Test cricket.
India have played 60 Tests with New Zealand having won 21 times, losing 13 and 26 clashes have been drawn. India also have an excellent record against the Kiwis, having won each of the last three Test series on home soil.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides in Test cricket since the World Test Championship (WTC) final in June 2021, which New Zealand won by 8 wickets at the Ageas Bowl Stadium in Southampton.
After white-washing the Kiwis in the three-match T20I series, the India team, under the guidance of new head coach Rahul Dravid, will aim to clinch the Test series too.
India, however, will miss the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli, who will not feature in the first Test. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team in the absence of Kohli, who will return to the team for the second Test in Mumbai.
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