Legendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said that India’s premier spinner R Ashwin is “the best spinner in the world at the moment.” Ashwin became the fastest bowler to take 300 wickets in terms of matches in the history of Test cricket.
Ashwin reached the landmark in 15,636 career deliveries and broke the record Australian leg-spin legend, Shane Warne. Muralitharan is now third on the list, having got to 300 wickets in 18,622 deliveries.
Talking to PTI about Ashwin, Muralitharan said, “I want to congratulate him (Ashwin). It’s a big achievement as getting 300 Test wickets is not an easy job. Definitely, he is the best spinner in the world at the moment. He is not on the One-Day team but hopefully, he will return and do wonders in the shorter formats also.”
However, Muralitharan also backed Ashwin to break more records due to is age. He said, “He (Ashwin) is hardly 31, 32 years old and can play for another 4-5 years at least. But it will also depend on how he performs and remains injury free. Only time will tell as it will be very hard for him after 35.”
Sri Lanka’s current tour of India was preceded by India doing a full tour of the same nation. Muralitharan opposed the claim that too much cricket between India and Sri Lanka has taken the shine off the contest, he said, “I can’t say there is too much of (India-Sri Lanka) cricket but maybe Virat (Kohli) is getting bored of winning every time.”
India had tour washed Sri Lanka earlier in the year, winning all the 9 matches across three formats. Now the hosts have already taken an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series, beating Sri Lanka an innings and 239 runs. It is the wors Sri Lanka have ever suffered in Test cricket.
Talking about the tough phase of the Islanders, the legendary bowler said, “India is a very good side and I rate them very high. You can’t take credit away from India by saying that Sri Lanka is a weak team. They are doing really well in every format. Alarm bells (in Sri Lankan cricket) have rang two three years ago. For me it’s a matter of great concern. You lose sometime but this (Sri Lankan) team is losing a lot and that is a major worry. Young cricketers are not coming through. They are not performing. That’s the biggest concern we have.”