Muralitharan: only R. Ashwin can reach 800 test wickets – cricket news – sportsstar
Among the current crop of spinners, only the Indian R. Ashwin can approach his tally of 800 career wickets, estimates Muttiah Muralitharan.
Muralitharan, who retired from trial cricket in 2010, remains the largest wicket taker in trial cricket. He is followed by Shane Warne (708 wickets) and Anil Kumble (619 wickets).
“Ashwin has a chance because he’s a great bowler. Other than that, I don’t think a young pitcher who comes in will go to 800. Maybe Nathan Lyon isn’t good enough to reach it. He’s almost 400 (396) but he had to play a lot, a lot of matches to get there, ”Muralitharan said, quoted by Telegraph.
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Ashwin has 377 wickets in 74 tests with an average of 25.53 while Lyon, which is among the best Australian spinners of all time, has an average of 31.98 in 99 tests.
Leaving Ashwin and Lyon aside, there is a dearth of world-class spinners in the modern game. The tall Sri Lankan attributed the disturbing trend to the drummers’ change of approach from his playing days.
“The problem with Test Cricket is that the Twenty20s and One Day Internationals have changed the dynamics. When I was playing the drummers were technically so good and the wickets were flat; now they are trying to finish games in three days. Bowlers in my day had to do extra work to get spin and do something magical to get results.
“Today, if you cast a line and a length over a period of time, you will get five wickets. This is guaranteed because batsmen cannot go long without attacking.
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Muralitharan had other world class spinners in Warne, Kumble, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Harbhajan Singh as his contemporaries.
“You have a better chance of taking wickets, so the spinners just have to set the pitch, line and bowl length properly and let the throws and beaters do the rest. The spinners had to work. hard on the wickets which is why they worked hard to develop other deliveries. Now they do it in T20 cricket instead. They throw different variations because the batsmen come after them. But in Test cricket, you don’t have to do it, ”he said.
Muralitharan only played one series with the DRS, against India in 2008, and believes that could have added to his incredible 800 loot if he could have used the technology.
“We beat them easily (India). I would say that I would have had more counters [with DRS] because it would have been difficult for the drummers to use the pad.
“If I went around the wicket for a right-hander and if he missed the ball, there would be a 90% chance that the ball would hit the wicket. But the referees ruled that he was not called out because he touched the front leg. The drummers had the benefit of the doubt. Not now. Maybe there are fewer races now because the DRS gives the bowler the edge.
“I remember when you played us – if you hid the bat and chased us now, you would be out.” With DRS, they will tell if you made a move or not. You will be absent if the ball hits the wicket.