Ravichandran Ashwin’s wickets tally goes up every time he walks into the bowling field.
In 2021, the Indian off-spinner was the leading wicket-taker in Tests by picking up 54 wickets in the year. He has picked 50+ Test wickets 4 times in his career.
The year-by-year stats of the Chennai-based spinner shows that he is still hungry for wickets at the age of 35 and might become one of the top-five leading wicket-takers in Test cricket.
This article will pick out stats that help you analyse Ashwin’s Test bowling stats in different bowling conditions – home and away, Asian and non-Asian conditions, and finally, his bowling performances in every country.
Without much waffle, let’s get into the numbers right away.
Ashwin Test Stats – Home and Away
Every bowler who has played their childhood and domestic games in the home country will know the conditions well and gets an extra push whenever they bowl in those conditions. Ashwin is no different from that. He knows the Indian conditions better than most of the Indian bowlers himself, which makes him a menace to the opposition batsmen.
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He became the 6th overall and 2nd Indian bowler to pick 300 wickets in home Tests. Check the top 10 bowlers to rank the chart here.
If the 35-year-old can stay fit to play the longer format for 3 more years, he can end up next only to Muttiah Muralitharan’s mighty number of 493 Test wickets in Sri Lankan venues. His clean-sweep against Australia in the 2014 Border-Gavasker series is one of the rarest achievements in the game of cricket.
Away from home, Ashwin has an average of around 31, which is on-par compared with other top bowlers from the current generation like Stuart Broad, Yasir Shah, James Anderson, and Nathan Lyon. It is unfair to compare the bowling average of a player of two different generations as the scoring rate, and playing conditions are much different these days. Also, Ashwin played most of his away Tests in Australia and England conditions. In contrast, for a yesteryear bowler like Muttiah Muralitharan, a spinner from an Asian country, his top two away venues were India and Pakistan.
Ashwin was also a part of the World Test Championship final, his only neutral venue game, in which he picked 2 wickets per innings.
Ashwin’s Country-wise Test Stats
Ravi Ashwin has bowled in 7 Test playing nations away from home, and his best two away countries are Australia and Sri Lanka. He has 39 wickets down under and 38 in Sri Lanka.
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His best bowling performance away from home came in West Indies when he picked up 7-for-83 against the Jason Holder-led West Indies team at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. India defeated the home side by an innings and 92 runs, thanks to the MoM winner Ashwin’s 7-wicket haul and a century in the only innings India batted. The Indian captain, Virat Kohli, also contributed with a double-century knock in that game – one of his 7 Test double tons.
Among the countries where Ashwin played at least 5 Test matches, his average in Sri Lanka is the next best after India. He also has a decent bowling average in England and West Indies. Australia and South Africa seem to have given Ashwin the hard times as the bowler average above 40 in these conditions.
Ashwin’s Test Bowling Stats – Asian and non-Asian conditions
Now, putting together his bowling performances in the spin-friendly Asian conditions and the non-Asian conditions, Ashwin has been a super-villain to the batters in the Asian countries.
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The carom-ball specialist has played more than two-thirds of his total Tests in Asian conditions, and so are his wicket count and 5-wicket hauls. Also, Only one of his top 20 bowling performances in the longer format has come outside Asia.
The difference in the average of Ashwin’s Asian and non-Asian performance is around 14, which is relatively poor compared to Muralitharan’s 4.4.
For someone to play the game for a long time, the non-Asian conditions are his weak zone.
To wrap it up, it is easy to say that Ashwin is a beast in the home conditions.
Although his overseas numbers look poor, it is hard to analyse a bowler’s value by mere numbers. He has played a significant supportive role to the fast bowlers in these conditions rather than a go-to bowler. The spinners are mainly used to provide the pacers a much-needed rest as the conditions, in most cases, are pacer friendly. Ashwin has also been an all-rounder handy in tougher scenarios that demand runs from the lower order.
With that, one can easily say, Ashwin is one of the biggest assets for team India in the format, wherever the team played.