Counting milestones: A look at Ravichandran Ashwin's stupendous history of 500 wickets in Test cricket!

India's veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has added another feather to his cap by scripting a stupendous history of taking 500 wickets in the Test cricket. 37-year-old Ashwin's career has been counting milestones as a formidable bowler and as an able all-rounder in all the formats and in the midst of huge attention, he has now recorded an incredible feat, which had brought a pile of pride for the country. 

India is currently in a home tour against England and the teams are locking horns in the third match of a five-test series. While each team had won the first two matches, the third match is being held at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot, Gujarat. Though the Indian team had put a potent score on the board with centuries from Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja and a brilliant cameo by debutant Sarfaraz Khan, all eyes were on Ashwin as he was on a verge of creating history. 

By taking the wicket of English batter Zak Crawley on Friday - February 16, Ashwin has registered his 500th wicket and through the milestone, he has become the second Indian bowler, after Anil Kumble, to take 500 wickets in Test cricket. The stupendous feat had also made Ashwin to become the ninth bowler globally to secure 500 wickets. When Ashwin dismissed Crawley and touched the feat, several fans had conferred a standing ovation. 

Millions of people from leaders to fans across the country had commended Ashwin for creating a history. The top eight bowlers, ahead of Ashwin, in the list are - Muttiah Muralidharan (800 wickets), Shane Warne (708 wickets), James Anderson (695 wickets), Anil Kumble (619 wickets), Stuart Broad (604 wickets), Glenn McGrath (563 wickets), Courtney Walsh (519 wickets), and Nathan Lyon (517 wickets). 

Ashwin made his Test debut in November 2011 and has been considered as one of the greatest bowlers of all time. For Ashwin, the home grounds have been a fortress as he had delivered thumping performances in India. Interestingly, of these 500 wickets, 347 came from the Indian pitches, which had shown how he had doctored the home grounds. 

Furthermore, Ashwin has reached this milestone in 98 Test matches, making him the second-quickest in Test history to the milestone after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralidharan. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had reported that the other players in the list had taken more than 100 matches to breach the 500-mark. Another iconic feat that Ashwin has is 34 fifers and eight ten-wicket hauls in his Test career. 

Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who had bashed a century in the current Test match, had lauded Ashwin for creating a milestone in his hometown of Rajkot. Jadeja said, "I am very happy for him, I have been playing with him for years. I thought he would get it in the first test match, but it's okay, it is destiny that he will get it here in my hometown." 

Several leaders, former players, and celebrities have extended their wishes to the spinner. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin took to social media and wrote, "Breaking Records & Crafting Dreams, that's Chennai's own boy, Ashwin. With every turn, he weaves a tale of determination and skill, marking a truly SPINtacular milestone! Hats off to Ashwin's magical spin, masterfully securing his 500th Test wicket in the annals of cricket history. Here's to more wickets and wins for our very own legend!"  

Former Indian cricketer and master blaster Sachin Tendulkar took to social media and wrote, "500 Test wickets for a one-in-a-million bowler! In AshWIN the SpinNER, there was always a WINNER. 500 wickets is a huge milestone in Test cricket. Congratulations, Champion!" Actor Dhanush wrote, "Congratulations Ashwin on this incredible achievement. Thank you for making us proud."