Darren Bravo, who was his maiden Test wicket, was again his first victim yesterday — a big outside edge to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni. Like in his debut match, Ashwin claimed three wickets in the first innings.
Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, who is playing his farewell Test, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, celebrating his 150th Test, the match will also stand out for Ashwin who reached 100 wickets when he had Windies skipper Darren Sammy out for a duck. In the process, the 18-Test-old Ashwin became the fastest Indian bowler to complete 100 wickets, surpassing Erapalli Prasanna who achieved the feat in 20 Tests.
Ashwin, the No 1 Test all-rounder in the world, clearly seems to be living up to his billing. For the record, Ashwin already has three half-centuries and two centuries under his belt with the last ton coming in the first Test at Eden Gardens.
Although it was Pragyan Ojha, who starred with five for 40 yesterday, it was Ashwin’s crucial breakthroughs that restricted the visitors to 182. Ashwin extracted enough turn and bounce in the opening session itself only to make life miserable for the Windies who at one point looked in control at 93 for two at lunch.
After dismissing Bravo for 29, Ashwin came back to haunt the Windies and the two wickets— Narsingh Deonarine (21) and Sammy (0) — in the 49th over were enough to break the visitors’ resistance.
The Ojha-Ashwin partnership is becoming a ‘too-hot-to-handle’ factor for India’s opponents. “I share great partnership with Ashwin. We understand each other well. It is more important we do well for India,” said Ojha in the post-match conference.