Muttiah Muralitharan backs R Ashwin to succeed in overseas conditions
Legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has backed Ravichandran Ashwin to succeed in overseas conditions too. The Indian spinner has been wreaking havoc on batsmen in subcontinental pitches in the last couple of years but fails to replicate the same form in overseas conditions. In 51 innings in Asia, the off-spinner has taken an astonishing 179 wickets but his stats outside the continents say a different story. In 21 innings outside of the continent, the bowler has taken just 41 wickets.
In an interview with the Times of India, the Sri Lankan great said that Ashwin has learnt to be patient and that will help him to succeed in not so friendly-pitches.
“Firstly, Ashwin always had the basics in place, was willing to learn and get better at his craft. Secondly, like any bowler of international repute, Ashwin has earned the art of remaining patient in order to get the wickets. He is ready to bide his time and work his way through in order to outdo the batsman,” Muralitharan said.
Ashwin continued his fine form against New Zealand too during the recently-concluded Test series in which he took 27 wickets in only 3 matches. In the process, he broke Muralitharan’s record of being the second-quickest to take 200 Test wickets. Ashwin reached the milestone in 37 matches compared to Muralitharan’s 42.
He also backed Ashwin and Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah to break several records and said that they have the potential to surpass his 800 wickets in Tests.
“Records are meant only to be broken. I feel both (Yasir and Ashwin) -going by the current form -can go for my record. Getting there would depend on their longevity, fitness and form,” said the bowler who played alongside Ashwin for Chennai Super Kings in IPL.
Muralitharan, who has 48 wickets in 6 matches in England, said that a county stint can benefit the Indian spin spearhead.
“I had the opportunity to play county cricket which helped me understand the conditions better in England.When I got to play Tests against England, I knew the areas to bowl at. Maybe, Ashwin too would do well if he plays county as that’s the perfect platform to learn how to bowl on wickets that traditionally assists the faster bowlers,” opined the retired bowler.
He advised the Tamil Nadu bowler not to pay heed to the critics who undermine his abilities for his overseas performance.
“If you have taken 810 wickets on pitches that assist spin, you would end up getting lesser purchase on wickets that are pacer-friendly, but you still are the team’s premium bowler. Ashwin is experienced enough to know the areas he has to work on and come up trumps,” Murali said.
Murali also said that Ashwin’s contribution with the bat is a big plus for the team. During the Test series in West Indies, apart from taking 17 wickets, he scored 235 runs with the help of 2 centuries.
“Ashwin’s confidence is sky-high and as an all-rounder, he is able to contribute with the bat and ball.He has scored those crucial runs whenever the team needed him arriving lower down the order, and that’s a big plus for his team. Ashwin has been able to replicate his batting form to his bowling and vice-versa,” said Murali.
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