Sanjay Bangar backs Ashwin to break Muralitharan’s 800-wicket Test record

Ravichandran Ashwin

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Bangar reckoned that Ravi Ashwin has the potential to challenge and subsequently surpass Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan as the all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket. Among the current set of players, fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, and Ashwin are closest to the wily off-break bowler.

Ashwin is currently 12th in the list, having already picked up over 420 wickets over his 11-year-long Test career. The tweaker recently turned 35 years old and is busy playing in the two-match Test series against New Zealand. Bangar said that Ashwin has every chance of surpassing Muralitharan’s tally provided he’s able to stay fit over the next few years.

He has concentrated more on his off-spin in Test cricket, says Sanjay Bangar

He can challenge Muralitharan’s record if he remains fit for a long time because Muttiah Muralitharan has himself said that if someone can break his record, it is Ravichandran Ashwin,” Bangar was quoted as saying on Star Sports.

Bangar said that the Tamil Nadu-born cricketer bowls long spells and hence, has a better chance of being amongst the wickets for the rest of his career. Recently, Ashwin also made his comeback into limited-overs cricket after four years while taking part in the T20 World Cup 2021.

The way he bowls and bowls the long spells and we have seen of late that it is his second wing because he has made a comeback in T20 cricket as well. He has concentrated more on his off-spin while playing Test cricket. So, I feel the indications are good that he might cross that milestone as well,” he added.

On Sunday, December 5, he became the first bowler to notch 50 Tests wickets in 2021. He achieved the feat during India’s second Test against the Black Caps at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It also happened to be the fourth time that he reached the milestone in the calendar years.

Apart from his bowling process, Ashwin is more than handy as a batter. He scored four tons against the West Indies to start with after which got a century against England at the Chepauk earlier this year. He also has 11 half-centuries to his name.