Ravichandran Ashwin has been hailed as "the best spinner in the world" after he became the quickest to take 300 Test wickets in 54 matches, breaking Australian Dennis Lillee's record yesterday (November 27).
The 31-year-old Ashwin took eight wickets in the match as India thrashed Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs at Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium on Monday.
This gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The final Test starts in Delih on December 2. The opening contest ended in a draw in Kolkata.
Calling Ashwin's record as a "big achievement", Sri Lankan spin legend Muttaiah Muralitharan has anointed him as the "best spinner the world at the moment".
"I want to congratulate him (Ashwin). It's a big achievement as getting 300 Test wickets is not an easy job. Definitely, he is the best spinner in the world at the moment," Muralitharan was quoted as saying by "PTI" news agency.
Muralitharan, who is the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket with 800 scalps, feels Ashwin can return to the limited-overs format and "do wonders".
"He is not in the One Day International team but hopefully he will return and do wonders in the shorter formats also," he added.
He further stated, "He is hardly 31, 32 years old and can play for another 4-5 years at least. But it will also depend on how he performs and remains injury free. Only time will tell as it will be very hard for him after 35."
Ashwin has been ignored for selection in the shorter formats of the game. Yesterday, he was again snubbed the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) selectors as they picked the squad for three Sri Lanka ODIs at home.
As he completed 300 Test wickets, Ashwin also equalled Muralitharan and Shane Warne's record of taking 50 or more wickets in a year in the five-day format for the third consecutive year.