Ashwin is the best spinner in the world at the moment, says Muttiah Muralitharan

Updated: Nov 29, 2017, 09:01 IST | PTI

Sri Lankan spin legend reckons India offie is peerless; hopes he can be a regular force across all formats

Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan feels India's Ravichandran Ashwin is presently the best spinner in the world and his achievements with the ball are a testimony to his greatness. Ashwin on Monday became the fastest bowler to reach the milestone of 300 Test wickets in his 54th match, breaking Dennis Lillee's record during India's convincing win over Sri Lanka in the second Test. And Muralitharan congratulated the Indian off-spinner on his achievement. "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 told PTI.

India spinner R Ashwin celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Dilruwan Perera on Day Four of the second Test in Nagpur on Monday. Pic/AFP
India spinner R Ashwin celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Dilruwan Perera on Day Four of the second Test in Nagpur on Monday. Pic/AFP

"He is not in the one-day team but hopefully he will return and do wonders in the shorter formats also," said the spin legend, who holds the world record of capturing 800 wickets in 133 Test matches. Australian fast bowling legend Lillee had reached the milestone in 56 Test matches way back in 1981 and it took 36 years for another bowler to eclipse the record. Ashwin is also ahead of some of the illustrious names, who had completed the milestone in quick time.

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan

Among them are Muralitharan (58 Tests), Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall and Dale Steyn (61 Tests each). Having eclipsed Lille's feat, the real challenge now for Ashwin is to break Muralitharan's record of being the fastest to 400, 500, 600, 700 and 800 Test wickets. "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," said Muralitharan. Ashwin has take 150 wickets in 111 ODI matches.

26 No. of five-wicket hauls taken by spinner R Ashwin in Tests
52 No. of wickets claimed by Ashwin in 10 Tests this year

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