Ashwin has best chance to reach 800 wickets, says Murali
Former Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, highest Test wicket-taker of all-time with 800 scalps to his name, believes India’s Ravichandran Ashwin has the best chance to reach 800 wickets.
Ahead of Nathan Lyon’s 100th Test match when he takes the field against India in Brisbane on Friday (January 15), Muralitharan said he is “not good enough” to reach 800 wickets.
“Ashwin has a chance because he is a great bowler,” said Murali while speaking to former England skipper Michael Vaughan for The Telegraph. “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 but he has had to play many, many matches to get there.”
Lyon has so far picked up 396 wickets in the longest format of the game, while Ashwin has 377 scalps from 74 Tests so far. In the first three matches of the ongoing Test series between Australia and India, Lyon has got 6 wickets whereas Ashwin has got 12.
Murali, who is no longer involved with Sri Lankan cricket but works as a bowling coach with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, is also of the opinion that the current bowlers do not need to put in a lot of effort to pick up wickets in Test cricket. He feels a lot of it is because of the evolution of white-ball 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,” said Murali, talking from his home in Colombo.