Ravichandran Ashwin "Could Make A Run At Anil Kumble": New Zealand Great Daniel Vettori Backs Offie To Become India's Leading Wicket-Taker
The fact that Ravichandran Ashwin overtook Harbhajan Singh in 23 Tests fewer was perhaps one of the major reasons why Daniel Vettori backed him to easily get past the legendary Kapil Dev (434) and then even eye Anil Kumble's record tally of 619 wickets.
- Former New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori heaped praised on R Ashwin
- Vettori said Ashwin can challenge Anil Kumble's record 619-wicket tally
- Ashwin surpassed Harbhajan as India's third-highest leading wicket-taker
New Zealand great Daniel Vettori feels Ravichandran Ashwin will "comfortably end up as India's second-highest wicket-taker" in Test cricket and in fact, he could well pose a challenge to the legendary Anil Kumble's record of 619 Test wickets. Ashwin on Monday became India's third leading wicket-taker in Tests by surpassing veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. Ashwin, who needed five wickets before the start of the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur to go past Harbhajan, ended up getting six with three each in both the innings of the Test which ended in a thrilling draw. Ashwin currently has 419 wickets in 80 Test matches while Harbhajan, who played his last Test in 2015, has 417 in 103 matches.
The fact that Ashwin overtook Harbhajan in 23 Tests fewer was perhaps one of the major reasons why Vettori backed him to easily get past the legendary Kapil Dev (434) and then even eye Anil Kumble's record tally of 619 wickets.
"He (Ashwin) is far from done. He's comfortably gonna end up as India's second highest wicket-taker and maybe he could make a run at Kumble as well," Vettori told ESPNCricinfo.
Ashwin only needs 16 more wickets to go past Kapil Dev and grab the second spot in India's all-time leading Test wicket-takers' list. To topple Kumble, he still needs 201 wickets but considering Ashwin's form and age - he is 35 and should ideally have at least 4 years of top-level cricket in him - it might not be a distant dream.
Vettori was mighty impressed with the way Ashwin has evolved as an off-spinner using all his variations particularly in home conditions.
"I think for someone who has been so dominant in so many different scenarios for India. He is so reliable particularly in home conditions. The pace at which he takes wickets is phenomenal. The way he has evolved... his variations... the bowler that he was to the bowler that he has become. He is always learning, always trying to get better," Vettori added.
The former New Zealand captain, however said it was "fascinating" how despite his brilliant track record, Ashwin often keeps getting ignored in overseas Tests.
"While all this he is one of the best spinners for India and in world cricket, he regularly gets dropped. It is fascinating to sit back and see a guy who averages over five wickets in a Test and is a consistent match winner gets left out of the team, and how Jadeja gets preferred over him. But he keeps coming back," he added.