Bangalore: Ravichandran Ashwin is humbled to have crossed the legendary Kapil Dev’s tally of 434 Test scalps. The premier India off-spinner revealed Tuesday that he wanted to be a batter and used to bowl medium pace as a child to become the next ‘Kapil Paaji’. Ravichandran Ashwinrecently played his 85th Test against Sri Lanka. In the game, the 35-year-old Ashwin went past the legendary Kapil’s 434 Test scalps to become India’s second most successful bowler in the longest format Sunday. Ashwin achieved the feat when he dismissed Charith Asalanka during Sri Lanka’s second innings in the first Test.
“Feeling so humbled. I remember 28 years ago, I was cheering for Kapil Paaji along with my da (elder brother) when he went past Richard Hadlee’s record,” Ashwin said on his Youtube channel. “Even in my wildest dream, I never thought of going past his tally of wickets. This is because I always wanted to be a batsman especially when I started off as an eight-year old. “In 1994, batting was my fascination. Sachin Tendulkar was just emerging into the scene and Kapil Dev, himself was a terrific striker of the ball,” Ashwin added.
Kapil’s 434 wickets had come from 131 matches. The legendary Anil Kumble tops the Indian chart with 619 scalps which he claimed in 132 matches.
Ashwin is the fourth Indian bowler to take more than 400 wickets in Test cricket. He also became the ninth highest Test wicket-taker of all time. He went past Hadlee (431) and Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath (433) as well, apart from Kapil.
“In fact, I used to bowl medium pace on my dad’s advice back then so that I can try to be the next Kapil Paaji. From then to become an off-spinner and to represent India for so many years… I never thought I will play for India. I am so grateful and so humbled on his achievement,” Ashwin informed.
Ashwin is still in disbelief by Shane Warne’s deat. He hailed the late Australian legend for redefining bowling and bringing spin as an attacking commodity in world cricket.
“I see Warne as a flag-bearer for carrying the spin aspect of bowling on the front in the world cricketing map. The top three wicket-takers in the world are spinners in Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble,” Ashwin informed.
“He was an interesting character. So many Australian legends had so many nice things to say about him. I still can’t accept the fact that life is so fickle. We cannot predict what can happen,” the Indian off-spinner said.
“Shane Warne was a colourful character, he redefined bowling, he has taken more than 1,000 international wickets and not many can achieve this rare feat,” Ashwin added.