Ravichandran Ashwin, a seasoned off-spinner, passed Harbhajan Singh on Monday to become India’s third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, reaching the milestone in his 80th match. With 619 wickets, the legendary Anil Kumble leads the list, followed by India’s first World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, who has 434 wickets to his name. When he took the wicket of New Zealand opener Will Young near the end of the fourth day in the opening Test here, the 35-year-old Ashwin drew level with Harbhajan (417 in 103 games), who remains one of India’s best spinners.

The tweaker then got his 418th Test wicket by dismissing Tom Latham. He had 3/82 in 42.3 overs in New Zealand’s first innings, bowling out the opposition for 296 to help the hosts gain a comfortable 49-run lead. “I’d like to congratulate Ashwin on reaching a significant milestone. Well done, and here’s hoping he continues to win matches for India “PTI quoted Harbhajan as saying.

“Comparisons were never anything I believed in. At different periods and against different opponents, we played our best cricket. I did my best for the country back then, and Ashwin is doing the same now “,the former India spinner stated.  In Test cricket, Ashwin is the fourth Indian bowler to reach 400 wickets. Apart from Harbhajan, he also became the 13th most Test wicket-taker of all time, passing Pakistani fast bowling legend Wasim Akram (414). After English pacers Stuart Broad (524) and James Anderson (523), Ashwin is the third highest wicket scorer among active Test cricketers (632).

In November 2011, Ashwin made his Test debut in Delhi against the West Indies. He has a strike rate of 52.4 and an average of 24.56 for his wickets. Apart from his bowling prowess, Ashwin is also noted for his batsmanship, having amassed 2685 runs at an average of 27.68 with five hundreds to his credit.

The Chennai native has also taken 150 wickets in 111 One-Day Internationals and is India’s third-highest wicket-taker in T20Is, with 61 scalps in 51 outings.