Legendary Australia cricketer Shane Warne heaped praise on India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and said that he wants the off-spinner to take 1000 Test wickets. Ashwin, currently the third highest wicket-taker in India’s Test history with 430 scalps to his name, is just four away from equaling the great Kapil Dev (434). Former India captain Anil Kumble leads the chart for India with 619 wickets to his name. Ashwin’s impeccable home record does give him a fair chance to beat Kumble’s record but Warne believes the 35-year-old can even go past him and Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan. Warne has 708 Test wickets to his name while Muralitharan, the all-time highest wicket-taker in Tests, has 800.
Australia’s off-spinner Nathan Lyon is another cricketer whom Warne wants to take a thousand Test wickets. Lyon currently has 415 Test scalps.
“I hope both Ashwin and Lyon do (break Warne and Muralitharan’s record), because the more we see quality spin bowlers bowling, it makes for more interesting cricket. I think when you watch a pace bowler bowl real fast and a batter trying to take them on and then you see a really good spinner and that battle between him and a spinner. And you see that battle evolve. If you can see those two things in Test cricket, I think it becomes more entertaining. So if we can have that, then I hope Ashwin takes 1000 Test wickets, Lyon takes 1000 Test wickets. That would be fantastic,” Warne told Hindustan Times.
Calling himself a “big fan” of Ashwin, Warne said the off-spinner has improved his performance away from home.
“Ashwin is getting better and better. He has been fantastic. A true test of any cricketer is how they go away from home. Over a long period of time when you go to different countries and see how you perform overseas and then you end up having a record – both home and overseas, it gives you an idea as to how far you’ve come as a player. I am a big fan of Ashwin, the way he bowls. I think he is always trying to develop and explore different deliveries,” he added.
Ashwin, however, was not at his best in the South Africa tour. He failed to make an impression in both the Tests and ODIs.
India’s issues to pick wickets in the middle overs were once again proved to a major factor as they were clean swept in ODI series by South Africa.
‘Kuldeep, Chahal Haven’t Had A Downfall’: Warne
Speaking about India’s two wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav who have been out of form of late, Warne said they haven’t “declined” and can make a comeback.
“I’m not sure they have declined. When you have Ashwin and Jadeja, two wonderful bowlers, it’s very hard to get into the team. Kuldeep is a wonderful wrist-spinner, so is Chahal. But it’s tough to get into the team when you’ve got Ashwin and Jadeja. So I don’t think they’ve had a downfall or anything like that, or drop in form. I just think the other two are doing really well,” explained Warne.
India’s next assignment will be the limited-overs series against West Indies at home starting on February 6.
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