Anil Kumble’s record is a long way off, but R Ashwin can do it: Sunil Gavaskar

Legendary Sunil Gavaskar said that R Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah are similar in the way they approach their bowling, adding that both bowlers are unwilling to experiment and constantly add new skills to their repertoires.

R Ashwin took his tally to 442 after a winning run against Sri Lanka (AFP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • R Ashwin ended the series in Sri Lanka with 12 wickets to take his tally to 442
  • Ashwin is 8th on the overall list of Test wicket takers
  • Bumrah recorded 8 wickets in the pink ball test against Sri Lanka

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar backed R Ashwin to emulate Anil Kumble’s all-time Indian record of 619 wickets in Test cricket and said the off-spinner was capable of reaching the milestone. Gavaskar conceded Kumble’s mark is still a long way off, but given Ashwin’s hunger to get better with every passing game, the star spinner may reach the milestone in years to come.

R Ashwin became India’s 2nd top Test bowler when he surpassed Kapil Dev’s record from 434 wickets in the first of a recently completed 2-Test series against Sri Lanka in Mohali earlier this month. Ashwin finished the 2 Test series against the Islanders with 12 wickets and brought his tally to 442 wickets. Ashwin is now the leading wicket-taker in the 400 club and is 8th overall in the all-time Test list.

“There’s still quite a way to go, we’re talking another 160 wickets. But he’s able to do it because he’s getting better and better. He’s not resting on his laurels,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

Ashwin was also the first man to pick up 100 wickets in the World Test Championship cycles, including the previous cycle where India reached the finals.

Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah were the wreckers-in-chief in the Pink Ball Test, with the former winning 6 wickets and the latter 8, including his first 5-wicket draw in home conditions.

“BUMRAH JUST LIKE ASHWIN”

Gavaskar explained why he thinks Ashwin and Bumrah are similar in their approach to bowling, stressing that both are not afraid to experiment and add new skills to their repertoire.

“Jasprit Bumrah, who came into Test cricket after Ashwin, is just like Ashwin in the sense that he’s always looking to expand his repertoire. That’s what Ashwin does. At one point a year and a half ago, Ashwin was tiring of leg spin because you can bowl that as a variety ball, especially when you have 500 runs on the bench,” Gavaskar said.

“He is not afraid of experiments. Yes, he could score, that’s the nature of the game. But the fact that he is doing something different and wants to create doubts in the batsman’s mind. He and Bumrah are so alike in that way, aggressive bowlers who want to take wickets and not just settle for taking those easy wickets. They want to make sure they have the batters.

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