'Why should I hold the 2nd position from him?': Kapil Dev reacts to R Ashwin breaking his record, makes big prediction
A day after R Ashwin surpassed Kapil Dev's tally of 434 wickets to become India's second-highest Test wicket-taker, the legendary former all-rounder has reacted to the off-spinner's accomplishment.
A day after R Ashwin surpassed Kapil Dev's tally of 434 wickets to become India's second-highest Test wicket-taker, the legendary former all-rounder has reacted to the off-spinner's accomplishment. Kapil held the record for the most Test wickets by an Indian cricketer for 10 years before it was broken by Anil Kumble in 2004 during a Test match against Bangladesh, and now 18 years later, Ashwin finds himself next only to Kumble. Kapil lauded Ashwin for his wonderful accomplishment saying that had the off-spinner received more chances, he would have broken his record a lot earlier. (Also Read: 'That spell in Melbourne is the best I've seen across decades': Gambhir makes massive Ashwin vs Kapil Dev statement)
"It's a great achievement especially from a guy who did not get enough opportunities in the recent past. Had he got those opportunities, he would have crossed 434 much earlier. I am happy for him; why should I hold it [the second position] from him? My time has passed," Kapil told Mid-Day in an interview.
Ashwin reached the landmark on Day 3 of the first Test against Sri Lanka – which also proved to be the final day of the Test match – when he dismissed Charith Asalanka for 20 in the second innings. Ashwin finished with six wickets in the match as India took a 1-0 series lead with a dominating innings win against Lanka. As for the future, Ashwin, at 35, will need a truckload of wickets to go past Kumble, but in case he doesn't, Kapil has backed the ace India spinner to achieve one more humongous feat for his country.
"Ashwin is a fabulous cricketer, an excellent and intelligent spinner. He should now target 500 Test scalps, which I am sure he will try and achieve. In fact, many more [wickets] than that," Kapil said.
Ashwin, who has broken into the list of the top 10 leading wicket-takers in Tests, penned a heartfelt post on Instagram after going past the legendary Kapil.
"28 years ago, I was cheering the great @therealkapildev on to get his world record tally of wickets," he wrote. "I never had the slightest of ideas that I would become an off spinner, play for my country and even manage to go past the great man's tally of wickets. I am delighted and very grateful to what this game has given me so far."