Veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has hailed R Ashwin after he reached the milestone of 400 Test wickets, in the recently-concluded pink-ball Test against England in Ahmedabad. Ashwin picked up seven wickets in the game to play an instrumental role in helping India clinch a dominant 10-wicket win over Joe Root & Co. and take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
He also became 2nd fastest to the milestone having achieved it in his 77th Test behind only the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan. Lauding Ashwin after his massive feat, Harbhajan said, like captain Virat Kohli, he will also call the off-spinner a legend the next he gets to meet him.
“Taking 400 wickets is a very big thing and that too in Test cricket, a format which tests you mentally, physically and every other way. So to dismiss 400 batsmen in that and win the team match after match is a huge thing. There is no doubt that R Ashwin is a legend,” Harbhajan said on Star Sports.
“Even if he had not taken 400 wickets, it was not that he would not have been considered a legend because he has won India so many matches. It was great to hear Virat Kohli saying that he will be calling Ashwin as a legend going forward. I will also call him a legend when I meet him next time,” he added.
Ashwin, who had taken over the mantle from Harbhajan as India’s leading spinner in Tests, had recently surpassed him to become the second-highest wicket-taker for India in home Tests. Ashwin currently has 401 wickets in 77 matches and is just 17 wickets away from overtaking Harbhajan on the list of highest wicket-takers for India in Test cricket.
“A bowler’s main task is to take wickets and that too the one which is most essential for the team, the main batsman from the opposition team. If I see this England batting, there are two big names in Ben Stokes and Joe Root. They have the ability to take England to a situation from where they can control the match,” said Harbhajan.