IND Vs ENG, 5th Test: Ravichandran Ashwin Becomes 14th Indian To Play 100 Tests

Ravichandran Ashwin received praise ahead of his landmark 100th Test against England at Dharamsala

India's head coach Rahul Dravid presents the 100th Test cap to Ravichandran Ashwin before the start of the fifth Test cricket match between India and England, in Dharamshala, Thursday, March 7, 2024. Photo: X/ICC

Indian ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin became the 14th player for his country to represent in 100 Test matches. The offie, who made his debut in red-ball cricket in 2011, had earlier completed 500 Test scalps in Rajkot, became the second Indian to reach the landmark. (Scorecard |IND Vs ENG Day 1 Blog | Streaming | Preview | Cricket News)

"The desire to excel hasn't changed, wanting to keep on evolving as a cricketer, that's something that's been organic to me right from my club cricket days in Chennai," Ashwin had said during the Rajkot Test after completing the milestone.

The Chennai-born bowler is also the second bowler after Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralidaran to achieve 500 wickets in less than 100 Test matches.

Since Ashwin's debut in November 2011 in Test, only Australia's Nathan Lyon has scalped more wickets in the format, making him one of the most fiercest bowlers in modern-day Test cricket.

Ashwin has joined an elite list of Indian cricketers to have played 100 Tests. The last player to achieve the feat was Cheteshwar Pujara. Only Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, with 200 Tests, sits atop the list of appearing in most Test matches for India.

On Ashwin, the 37-year-old has been earning praise from the cricketing world. Latest in the line is former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting.

Speaking on ICC Review, Ponting called Ashwin the 'master of spin'. “He's a master of spin in any conditions. He's been an incredible cricketer, no doubt about it. I had a chance to coach him for a couple of years at Delhi, and loved working with him. He's got a lot of theories and philosophies on the game, which I really like. He's always done things a little bit differently and done things his own way. But he just continued to evolve as a bowler," Ponting said.

As for the fifth and final Test match in which Ashwin is making his 100th appearance, England were 100/2 at lunch in Dharamsala. India are already 3-1 up in the five-match series.

Ahead of the Test, Ashwin also received a special cap from Indian cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid. The spinner's family, including his wife Prithi and two daughters, were also present at the monumental occasion.

Playing XIs

India (Playing XI): Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Devdutt Padikkal, Ravindra Jadeja, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Srikar Bharat.

England (Playing XI): Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Ben Stokes(c), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes(w), Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, Mark Wood, James Anderson.