Muttiah Muralitharan makes a choice between Ravi Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav

Muttiah Muralitharan makes a choice between Ravi Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav

"Kuldeep has been bowling really well."

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Nowadays, Indian cricket sees a lot of names claiming to be the best and making the experts doing a lot of sweating while picking one over another. Two names that are doing a lot of rounds while claiming to be the best India has produced in recent times are Ravi Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav. While the former is a senior player with a lot of experience, Kuldeep is a young one with explosive potential.

The two don’t have many similarities and have different formats as their fields of specialisation though Kuldeep is seen playing in Tests more than Ashwin taking part in coloured-clothing cricket. India’s head coach Ravi Shastri recently said Kuldeep, a Chinaman bowler, is already India’s prime bowler on overseas tours.

The country’s chief selector MSK Prasad, on the other hand, opined of late that Ashwin remains to be India’s No.1 bowler in Tests. Now, another expert in Muttiah Muralidharan, Sri Lanka’s legendary former off-spinner and the only bowler to take 800 wickets in Tests, has also come up with his take on the matter.

Muralidharan goes by the number of wickets a bowler has taken

Speaking to Times of India (TOI) in an interview, the 46-year-old with over 1,300 international wickets said Ashwin remained a far better bowler than Kuldeep saying he judged the ability of a bowler by the number of scalps he has claimed. Ashwin has 542 international wickets in a career that has spanned almost nine years so far.

“Kuldeep has been bowling really well. But it’s not for me to comment whether he should be India’s No. 1 spinner or Ashwin. When it comes to off-spinners in the world, I still think Ashwin is the best. You tell me why not? Who do you think is better than him, Nathan Lyon? Well, I will go by the number of wickets that Ashwin has taken.

Yes, people may argue that Lyon is taking wickets in Australia, but he is supposed to take wickets there. Ashwin will take wickets where he plays, even I took more than 500 (of my 800) in the subcontinent,” the former bowler who had his stint with controversy over bowling action, said.

Ashwin was a member of India’s limited-overs teams as well till the entry of the Kul-Cha pair (Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal) which has put both Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja under challenge. Ashwin though continues to be India’s top pick in Tests in which he is currently the country’s fourth highest wicket-taker. However, frequent injuries have forced the Tamil Nadu cricketer out of big overseas series in the recent past.

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