Melbourne: One of India’s best leg-spinners, Anil Kumble paid off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin one of the biggest compliments of his career on Saturday when he said that the Chennai player reminded him of him.
Anil Kumble speaks to the media as he is inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame at the MCG on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, Kumble, the third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket (619) after Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan (808) and Australian Shane Warne (708), said Ashwin’s on-field attitude was very similar to his.
“Ashwin has a great attitude both when he is bowling as well as batting. Of course, he’s a better batsman than me, but I see the (same) grit and determination in him.
“He wants to hang around and do it for the team and has it in him to be a fantastic cricketer for India,” said Kumble (44), who will be honoured during today’s India vs South Africa World Cup fixture.
Ashwin, who has 119 wickets from 24 Tests and 121 wickets from 89 ODIs, has often been criticised for not getting too many wickets away from home.
However, Kumble offered a strong defence for the 28-year-old offie. “There have been some question marks on Ashwin’s overseas success as they were also against me when I played outside the country. But a spinner will only get better abroad if he gets more opportunities to play abroad. If batsmen are not picked after looking at the wicket and expected to adjust, I think even spinners should not be picked after looking at the wicket. They too can adjust their bowling to suit different pitches abroad,” added Kumble.
India’s spin great also spoke of India’s chances at this World Cup. “I think India will reach the semi-finals because this team understand what it takes to win. They know what it takes to win important matches because they are mentally strong. I’d like to bet on India. I have the confidence that they will go all the way,” he said.
Ashwin's home and away record
>> 95 wickets in 15 matches (at home)
>> 24 wkts in 9 ties (away)
>> 61 wickets in 38 matches (at home)
>> 60 wkts in 51 ties (away)