Former India captain Kapil Dev expressed his pleasure over Ravichandran Ashwin overtaking his Test wicket tally of 434. The off-spinner became India’s second-highest wicket-taker in the longest format during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Mohali.
R Ashwin breached the landmark figure with the wicket of Charith Asalanka. He is only behind Anil Kumble, who tops the list with an impressive 619 wickets. The off-spinner, after making a valuable half-century in the first innings, worked his magic with the ball to scalp 6 wickets and guide India to a mammoth innings win.
Kapil Dev felt that Ashwin could have overtaken him well before had he gotten more opportunities early in his career. In an interview with Mid Day, the legendary all-rounder said:
“It’s a great achievement, especially from a guy who did not get enough opportunities in the recent past. Had he got those opportunities, he would have crossed 434 much earlier. I am happy for him; why should I hold it [the second position] from him? My time has passed,”
The World Cup winning skipper has backed Ashwin to reach the landmark of 500 Test wickets next. Kapil Dev added:
“Ashwin is a fabulous cricketer, an excellent and intelligent spinner. He should now target 500 Test scalps, which I am sure he will try and achieve. In fact, many more [wickets] than that,”
The 35-year-old off-spinner had penned a tribute after moving past Kapil Dev in the leading wicket-taker list for India. Ashwin wrote on Instagram:
“28 years ago, I was cheering the great @therealkapildev on to get his world record tally of wickets,” he wrote. “I never had the slightest of ideas that I would become an off spinner, play for my country and even manage to go past the great man’s tally of wickets. I am delighted and very grateful to what this game has given me so far.”
Ashwin was a doubt for the ongoing series against Sri Lanka with his inclusion being subject to fitness. He had suffered an injury in the South Africa tour that made him ineligible for selection in the white-bll series against West Indies and Sri Lanka.
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