Star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has surpassed Kapil Dev's tally of Test wickets after returning match figures of 6-96 in India’s first Test against Sri Lanka at Mohali, helping his side win by an innings and 222 runs. Speaking with Cricbuzz, Parthiv Patel has spoken highly about Ashwin.
Ravichandran Ashwin pipped India’s legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev’s tally of 434 Test wickets after returning match figures of 6-96 in India’s first Test against Sri Lanka at Mohali, helping his side win by an innings and 222 runs to take an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two-match series. After an impressive performance, Ashwin’s former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) teammate Parthiv Patel lauded him, explaining how Ashwin now is in the "elite" list that includes the likes of Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, and Harbhajan Singh.
"Ashwin joined the elite list that has names like Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and Harbhajan Singh. These are legends of Indian cricket and a lot of people got inspired after watching them play. We talk about batters like Tendulkar and Gavaskar but many people copied the action of Kapil, Harbhajan and Kumble. Many took up the sport because of them,” Parthiv told Cricbuzz.
“Ashwin joining them is a testimony to his hard work. It took him 11 years to reach the milestone. It takes time and you gotta work hard for that time. We have seen Ashwin try different things as well. He has a deep understanding of the game and he takes his time to study it,” he continued.
Further, Parthiv even predicted that Ashwin has the ability to "come close or even break" Kumble's record of most Test wickets (619) for India.
"In 2008 when we both were a part of CSK, Ashwin was always curious to learn new things. He also used to spend time with Muralitharan during that phase. Credit to Ashwin... 436 wickets are a huge milestone. If he continues to play for another three-four years, he can get close or even break Kumble's record,” Parthiv added.
Ashwin has 436 wickets in 85 Tests so far for India at an average of 24.26, with 30 five-wicket hauls and seven ten-wicket hauls. So, it is still a long journey that Ashwin will have to take if he is to go past Kumble's tally for India.
Speaking on the understanding of cricket, Parthiv revealed how Ashwin always attempted to try and learn new things in order to bring improvement in his bowling.
"Ashwin reads the wicket well and varies his length and speed according to that. He also consults the wicketkeeper for the length and speed he needs to dismiss the batter. These things matter when you bowl overseas. You don't get much spin and you have to set up the batter in a different way. You have to deceive him in the air and tweak your angles as well. We have seen Ashwin dismissing Smith bowling round the wicket. He's a student of the game with the ability to adjust his bowling according to the surface," Parthiv concluded.
Besides bowling in the first Test against Sri Lanka, Ashwin also contributed with the bat, scoring a magnificent half-century in the first innings.
The second Test against Sri Lanka will take place at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru under floodlights, from March 12.