Ravichandran celebrates after picking up a wicket vs Sri Lanka© BCCI
Less than 10 days after going past Kapil Dev’s tally, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin beat Dale Steyn to rise to the eighth spot in the all-time highest wicket-takers’ list in Test cricket. Ashwin went past Steyn on Day 3 of the India vs Sri Lanka second Test match at Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru when he dismissed Dhananjaya de Silva in the morning session. The Sri Lanka all-rounder was Ashwin’s 440th Test victim, which took him past Steyn’s tally of 439. At the Tea break on Monday in the day-night Test, Ashwin had 440 wickets to his name in 162 innings while Steyn took 439 wickets in 171 innings. The elite list is led by legendary Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is the only cricketer to take 800 Test wickets. He is followed by Australian legend Shane Warne, who retired with 709 Test scalps.
Ashwin got one to turn that found the inside edge of de Silva’s bat who went at it with hard ends. It was a classic bat-pad dismissal, something very common in these conditions against the likes of Ashwin.
With sun beating down on a pitch that has been assisting the spinners from day one, surviving against Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja’s guile was an onerous task for the visitors.
Yet, adopting a positive approach, both Mendis (54 off 60 balls) and his Karunaratne used their feet with confidence to counter the Indian spinners.
Mendis was impressive on both front and back foot as he pulled and cut the short-pitched stuff and used his feet to cut down the spin.
Karunaratne too charged down the wicket, following a similar plan but Mendis was more expressive. Later the skipper too batted with much more confidence.
Mendis completed his fifty with a single off Jadeja but was beaten by flight on an Ashwin delivery and was stumped by Rishabh Pant.
That brought about the end of their fighting 96-run stand for the second wicket. Jadeja cleaned up Angelo Mathews (1) and Ashwin had Dhananjaya de Silva (4) caught at forward short-leg.
(With PTI inputs)