Days after R Ashwin became the fastest Indian to reach 350 wickets in Test cricket, India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh lauded the 33-year-old saying that he can tumble several records set by his senior spin pros. The Indian tweaker believes that Ashwin is in great form and at this rate, he can possibly pick 500 wickets before hanging his boots.
Speaking to India Today on Tuesday, Harbhajan said, “I am not sure about 600 wickets, but 417 is very close. The way he is going, he can definitely achieve that 400-wicket mark and can get to 500 wickets.”
He, however, felt that Ashwin still has a long way to go before he thinks of breaking Anil Kumble’s record of being India’s highest wicket-taker in the longest format of the game.
“600 Test wickets is very far but if he has to achieve that, he has to keep himself very fit and prolong his career. I think if he is fit, he can achieve anything,” Harbhajan added.
While playing his 66th Test against South Africa, R Ashwin picked eight wickets to become the fastest Indian to reach 350 wickets in the longest format of the game. He surpassed Anil Kumble in the process, who took 77 matches to complete this milestone.
Out of the 350 wickets, 242 of them have come playing in India in 39 matches, while the remaining 108 were in 27 away Tests.
Speaking on Ashwin’s brilliant display at home, Harbhajan said, “Ashwin has been brilliant with the ball. When we talk about home conditions, he has been very good and one cannot discredit him for that.”
Explaining why Ashwin is more effective at home, the Indian off-spinner added, “Reason – he has been more consistent, he has lot of variations and right sort of brain and has set a right example of how to bowl on turning pitches. It may sound easy but actually, it is difficult to bowl on turning pitches. One should know how and where to bowl, and that is what he has been doing better than others.”