Muttiah Muralitharan is a legendary former spinner from Sri Lanka who holds the record of claiming the most wickets in Test history, of 800. Meanwhile, he believes that India’s Ravichandran Ashwin is the only able bowler to match or venture near his legendary feat.
Legendary Sri Lanka spinner, Muttiah Muralitharan has come up with the shocking name of who can match his 800 Test wickets’ legendary feat. Interestingly, it happens to be an Indian.
In an exclusive chat with former English skipper, Michael Vaughan, Murali backed veteran Indian off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin to replicate his feat of 800 Test wickets. Murali holds the record of having the most wickets in Test cricket, of 800, followed by Australian great, Shane Warne (708), and India’s Anil Kumble (619).
“Ashwin has a chance because he is a great bowler. Other than that, I don’t think any younger bowler coming in will go to 800. Maybe Nathan Lyon is not good enough to reach it. He is close to 400 (396), but he has had to play many, many matches to get there,” Murali was quoted as saying to Vaughan for The Telegraph.
Ashwin is currently aged 34 and has so far claimed 377 wickets in 74 Tests at an average of 25.54. He would need to accelerate and play in the format regularly to stand a chance to near the feat of Murali.
“The problem in Test cricket is that Twenty20s and one-day internationals have changed the dynamics. When I played, the batsmen were technically so good and wickets were flat; now, they try to finish matches in three days. The bowlers in my day had to do extra work to get spin and do something magic to get results,” he further said on the difference in Test cricket from his days.
“You have a better chance of taking wickets, which is why spinners only have to set the field properly, bowl line and length and let the pitches and batsmen do the rest. Spinners used to have to work hard for wickets, which is why they worked hard on developing other deliveries. Now, they do that in T20 cricket instead. They bowl different variations because batsmen are coming after them. But, in Test cricket, you don’t need to do it,” he added.
Speaking on his record, Murali felt that he could have added more to his tally, had the Decision Review System (DRS) been in place at his time. Murali played just a series involving the DRS, against India in 2008.
“We beat them easily (India). I would say I would have had more wickets [with DRS] because it would have been hard for batsmen to use the pad. “If I came round the wicket to a right-hander and if he missed the ball, there would be a 90 per cent chance the ball would hit the wicket. But, umpires were judging that it was not out, because it was hitting the front leg. Batsmen had the benefit of the doubt. Not now,” he concluded.
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Last Updated Jan 14, 2021, 5:39 PM IST