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Shane Warne Hopes Ravichandran Ashwin Picks 1000 Test Wickets

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Shane Warne is highly impressed with Indian off-spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin’s work acumen and hopes he goes on to pick up 1000 Test wickets for his team. Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan- the two greatest spinners of all time sit atop in the list of the world’s leading wicket-taker with 709 and 800 Test scalps respectively.

The possibility of breaching that mark seems unlikely but two spinners Nathan Lyon and Ravichandran Ashwin’s excellent performances in recent Tests mean the records may be broken after all. Pacer Jimmy Anderson, with 640 wickets and the third-highest wicket-taker, is on the final leg of a long international career. His teammate England’s Stuart Broad isn’t far behind.

The only two active players in the top 15 are spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Nathan Lyon with 430 and 415 wickets, and although both are in their mid-30s, this duo is the only one that stands a chance to come close to Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan’s magnanimous feats.

Shane Warne - Getty Images
Shane Warne – Getty Images

Shane Warne Hopes Both Ravichandran Ashwin And Nathan Lyon Break Records Of Most Career Test Scalps

The battle of two modern-day greats is a phrase that has often been used to describe many a rivalry, but mostly for batsmen. Today, however, individual battles have transcended beyond batsmanship.  However, off the field, it’s a different story altogether. Both the aforementioned spinners are high on praise for their counterparts. Having said that, no amount of mutual respect can douse the competitive fire residing in their bellies.

It is because of this very intensity that fans, time and again, can’t help but debate as to who between the two of Nathan Lyon and Ravichandran Ashwin would be the first to surpass either Shane Warne or Muttiah Muralitharan. The comparison is surely understated and doesn’t get the attention it deserves, and weighing in on the same, the legendary Shane Warne states that there is nothing he would want more than to see both reach the pinnacle.

“I hope both Ashwin and Lyon do (break Warne and Muralitharan’s record), because the more we see quality spin bowlers bowling, it makes for more interesting cricket. I think when you watch a pace bowler bowl real fast and a batter trying to take them on and then you see a really good spinner and that battle between him and a spinner.”

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

“And you see that battle evolve. If you can see those two things in Test cricket, I think it becomes more entertaining. So if we can have that, then I hope Ashwin takes 1000 Test wickets, Lyon takes 1000 Test wickets. That would be fantastic,” Shane Warne said in an interview arranged by BookMyShow stream, the platform which premiers the Australian great’s much-awaited documentary film ‘Shane’.

In terms of their performances overseas, Ravichandran Ashwin holds the edge over his Aussie counterpart. During last year’s Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed 12 wickets and had the wood over Steve Smith. At present, the 35-year-old Ravichandran Ashwin has 430 Test wickets under his belt in 84 matches including 30 fifers and seven 10-wicket hauls.

He may not have gotten a single game in England last year, and might have perhaps sat out the South Africa Tests as well had Ravindra Jadeja been fit, but that hasn’t stopped Shane Warne’s admiration towards the efforts and hard yards Ravichandran Ashwin puts in.

“Ashwin is getting better and better. He has been fantastic. A true test of any cricketer is how they go away from home. Over a long period of time when you go to different countries and see how you perform overseas and then you end up having a record – both home and overseas, it gives you an idea as to how far you’ve come as a player. I am a big fan of Ashwin, the way he bowls. I think he is always trying to develop and explore different deliveries,” he mentioned.

Ravichandran Ashwin finished the calendar year as the leading wicket-taker. The Indian off-spinner picked 52 wickets in 9 Tests with an average of 16.94 which included 3 fifers. Ravichandran Ashwin also made a comeback for T20Is after 4 long years and he returned with figures of 9 wickets in 5 games as he played in T20 World Cup and a home T20I series against New Zealand.

Shane Warne Reckons It’s Very Hard For Kuldeep Yadav To Get Into Team As Ravichandran Ashwin And Ravindra Jadeja Are Doing Well

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja aren’t the only two Indian spinners Shane Warne touched upon. The once-threatening but currently fading duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav is a topic the Australian legend shared his insights on.

About four years ago, ‘Kul-Cha’ had sidelined Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja out of the XI as India’s two most prolific spinners in limited-overs internationals. In fact, when India had famously beaten South Africa 5-1 four years ago, the duo had accounted for 33 wickets.

Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Today, both find themselves at the crossroads of their careers. While Kuldeep Yadav has kind of vanished entirely, Yuzvendra Chahal is lacking the same spark.

And funnily enough, Ravichandran Ashwin has made a comeback into the limited-over fold, while Ravindra Jadeja has emerged to become arguably the world’s best all-rounder after Ben Stokes. Ravichandran Ashwin played the first two ODI games in the recently concluded series against Proteas and looked very ineffective. He returned with figures of 1/53 and 0/68 in his comeback ODI series.

But the decline of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal is a notion Shane Warne doesn’t buy.

“I’m not sure they have declined. When you have Ashwin and Jadeja, two wonderful bowlers, it’s very hard to get into the team. Kuldeep is a wonderful wrist-spinner, so is Chahal. But it’s tough to get into the team when you’ve got Ashwin and Jadeja. So I don’t think they’ve had a downfall or anything like that, or drop in form. I just think the other two are doing really well,” explained Warne.

The former leg-spinner reckons ‘Kul-Cha’s’ return into contention has gotten tougher because Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja haven’t given selectors reasons to leave them out.

Both Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were dropped from India’s squad for the 2021 T20I World Cup last year. While Chahal did make a return to the team after the tournament, Kuldeep Yadav has not played for India since the white-ball series against England last year at home.

Yuzvendra Chahal currently played the ODI series against South Africa. He picked just 2 wickets in the series playing all 3 ODIs. Kuldeep Yadav is the only Indian bowler to take two ODI hat-tricks and his T20I record isn’t bad either with 41 wickets in 23 games with an economy of 7.15. In ODIs, he has 107 scalps besides his name in 65 games averaging 28.34.

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