Ind vs NZ, 1st Test: Ashwin on verge of surpassing Harbhajan in elite list during series opener in Kanpur

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Nov 25, 2021, 12:05 PM(IST)

R Ashwin on cusp of surpassing Harbhajan in elite list in Kanpur Test Photograph:( AFP )

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During the first Test between India and New Zealand, in Kanpur, R Ashwin has a solid chance to surpass Harbhajan Singh in an elite list. 

Test cricket has returned in India after the India-England series, which was held early this year. Following the IPL 2021 edition's final leg and T20 World Cup, both held in the UAE, the longest format has returned for the national side as Ajinkya Rahane-led India have locked horns with Kane Williamson's New Zealand in the series opener of the two-match Tests, in Green Park, Kanpur on Thursday (November 25).

While India are without the services of many of their regulars in the format, such as captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami, their spin department is filled with the famed trio of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. Talking about Ashwin, he accounted for 32 scalps in India's last home series, versus England, and will look to continue in a similar manner versus the Kiwis. 

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Talking about the wily off-spinner, he is also on the cusp of surpassing veteran bowler Harbhajan Singh in an elite list. Ashwin (413 scalps) in just four wickets away from equalling Bhajji's wicket-tally in whites (417). Thus, the 34-year-old has a chance to move past Bhajji during NZ's first innings itself with a five-fer. 

In the list for most Test wickets among Indian players, Anil Kumble (619) leads the charts and is followed by Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan. Ashwin sits at the fourth spot currently whereas Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma are tied at the fifth position (with 311 scalps each).

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Talking about the series opener, Rahane-led India won the toss in Kanpur on Thursday morning. At lunch, India were well-placed at 82 for 1 but lost opener Shubman Gill for 52 in the second session. The hosts will look to post anything over 400 whereas Ashwin will then like to dictate terms with the red cherry in hand.

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