There is a common saying in cricket that “Records are meant to be broken”. It is a phrase that is often used when one talks about a certain number that is designated as the one that a player should ideally look to aim at during his career.
However, there are certain numbers which seem a bit impossible to reach than others. For instance, the runs scored by Sachin Tendulkar in Tests or the number of matches he played in the longer format of the game.
Considering the dwindling number of Tests that is played around the world, it is difficult to name a player who could get close to him on the latter front.
Among the bowlers, similarly, there is a number that all of them aim for, which is the most number of scalps taken in Test cricket, a record that is at present held by Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralidharan, who in his 18-year Test career played 133 Tests and picked up 800 scalps before calling it quits in 2010.
However, when asked who among the present premier spinners- Ravichandran Ashwin and Yasir Shah- have a chance of going past the great man, the 43-year-old said that both could go past him for the most number of wickets and admitted that reaching as far as that would require one to have a high level of fitness.
"Records are meant only to be broken. I feel both (Yasir and Ashwin) -going by the current form -can go for my record. Getting there would depend on their longevity, fitness and form," Murali told Cricbuzz in an interview.
Ashwin, in particular, has been prolific in Asian conditions, but doubts remain over his performances outside the subcontinent, where his average show a completely different picture.
However, Murali, who has seen Ashwin bowl right from his Chennai Super Kings days stated that the 30-year-old should not loose sleep over his stats in those conditions and added that it is his basics as well as his ability to remain patient that have helped him excel.
"Firstly, Ashwin always had the basics in place, was willing to earn and get better at his craft. Secondly, like any bowler of international repute, Ashwin has earned the art of remaining patient in order to get the wickets. He is ready to bide his time and work his way through in order to outdo the batsman.
“Ashwin's confidence is sky-high and as an all-rounder he is able to contribute with the bat and ball.He has scored those crucial runs whenever the team needed him arriving lower down the order, and that's a big plus for his team. Ashwin has been able to replicate his batting form to his bowling and vice-versa," Murali said.