The legendary Muttiah Muralitharan has separated a current bowler who can reach his record of 800 Test wickets. The former spinner is the leading wicket-taker in Test with exactly 800 Test wickets. Several experts have time and time again declared that no bowler in history will pick 800 wickets in the longest format again.
However, Muttiah Muralitharan believes that India’s Ravichandran Ashwin can reach the tally of 800 wickets in Test. The team India spinner currently has 377 wickets in 74 Tests at an average of 25.53. Another off-spinner Nathan Lyon of Australia has close to 400 Test wickets but Muralitharan holds that he only sees Ashwin getting to 800 Test scalps.
Ravichandran Ashwin is a great bowler-Muttiah Muralitharan
The former spinner believes that Ashwin has the quality and he can sustain his form for a longer period and pick another 400 odd wickets in Tests. As far as Nathan Lyon is concerned Muralitharan thinks that he is a good spinner but not good enough to reach the mammoth mark of 800 Test wickets. The Australian spinner currently has 397 Test wickets in 99 matches and will be playing 100th Test from tomorrow at Brisbane.
“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”, Muralitharan was quoted as saying in a Michael Vaughan column for the London-based Telegraph.
Meanwhile, Muralitharan also pointed out that during his era batsmen were more technically quipped and bowlers had to work extra to pick wickets. He added that T20 cricket has changed the dynamics and a batsman cannot survive for a long if a bowler bowls line and length consistently in Test cricket.
“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. Nowadays, if you bowl line and length over a period of time, you will get five wickets. It is guaranteed because batsmen cannot stay for long without attacking”, Muralitharan said.