Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha on Saturday became the third fastest Indian bowler to take 100 wickets in Test matches when he clinched James Pattinson’s wicket to end Australia’s first innings at 262 on Day Two of the fourth Test here at Feroz Shah Kotla.
The 26-year-old achieved this feat in 22 Tests and is in third place with Subhash Gupte and BS Chandrasekhar. Only Erapalli Prasanna (20 matches) and Anil Kumble (21 matches) have reached the 100-wicket mark quicker than the Hyderabadi spinner, Gupte and Chandra.
Ojha dismissed Pattinson off the first ball in his 27th over when the Australian fast bowler got a leading edge while playing for the turn and Virat Kohli took a sharp catch at slips. Ojha returned figures of 26.1-6-75-1 at an economy rate of 2.86.
The left-arm spinner, who made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Kanpur in 2009, recorded his best bowling figures (6-47) against the West Indies in Mumbai in 2011. Interestingly, Ojha has never played outside Asia and has bowled only on the spin-friendly tracks of the subcontinent.
Outside India, the left-armer has only played four Tests — one in Bangladesh and three in Sri Lanka — in which he has claimed 12 wickets. Ojha is now the fifth Indian left-arm spinner to achieve the milestone, others being Bishan Singh Bedi, Vinoo Mankad, Ravi Shastri and Dilip Doshi.
Meanwhile, R Ashwin equalled Anil Kumble’s record of the 27-wicket haul in a four-Test series when he dismissed Australia’s Peter Siddle on Saturday to finish with figures of 34-18-57-5.
The Chennai offie can get past Kumble if he bags a wicket in the second essay. Kumble achieved the feat in 2004-05 series against Australia which India lost 1-2 with a match in Chennai being washed away.
Chandrasekhar holds the Indian record of most Test wickets in a single series — 35 in the five-Test home series against England in 1972-73.
This is just the beginning: Ojha tweets
“Thanks a lot guys for all your wishes. This is just the beginning. Love to all.”
Picture of the ball posted by Ojha on his Twitter account