Muttiah Muralitharan has congratulated Ravichandran Ashwin, who claimed the milestone of 300 Test wickets, adding that the Indian is the best spinner in the world in his opinion. Muralitharan also praised the Indian team, under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, for their performances in all three formats.
The second Test of the India-Sri Lanka series was played in Nagpur where the hosts registered a convincing victory as they won the match by an innings and 239 runs. In this one-sided win, Ashwin played an important role claiming a total eight wickets in two innings which resulted in the Indian becoming the fastest bowler to reach the milestone of 300 Test wickets in his 54th match, breaking Dennis Lillee’s record (56). Sri Lankan spin legend Muralitharan believes that Ashwin, currently, is the best spinner in the world.
"I want to congratulate him (Ashwin). It's a big achievement as getting 300 Test wickets is not an easy job. Definitely, he is the best spinner in the world at the moment," Muralitharan said as quoted by PTI.
Australian fast bowling legend, Lillee, took 56 Test matches to reach the milestone in 1981 and it took 36 years for any bowler to break his record. Ashwin also surpassed some legendary players like Muralitharan (58 Tests), Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall and Dale Steyn (61 Tests each), while achieving this feat.
Now, the next challenge for the Indian spinner is to break Muralitharan’s record of being the fastest to 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 Test wickets, along with the record of the most number of Test wickets with 800 wickets in 133 Test matches
"He (Ashwin) is hardly 31, 32 years old and can play for another 4-5 years at least. But it will also depend on how he performs and remains injury free. Only time will tell as it will be very hard for him after 35," the 45-year-old stated.
Earlier, the Indian skipper had questioned the management over the scheduling of the Sri Lanka series. When asked Muralitharan about the issue, he gave a tongue-in-cheek reply.
"I can't say there is too much of (India-Sri Lanka) cricket but
"India is a very good side and I rate them very high. You can't take credit away from India by saying that Sri Lanka is a weak team. They are doing really well in every format.
"Alarm bells (in Sri Lankan cricket) have rung two-three years ago. For me, it's a matter of great concern. You lose sometimes but this (Sri Lankan) team is losing a lot and that is a major worry.
"Young cricketers are not coming through. They are not performing. That's the biggest concern we have."