Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg has piped India's leading Test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin to break Muttiah Muralitharan's 800-wicket record. Ashwin, 34, has played 78 Tests for India so far, taking 409 wickets.
Hogg said that Ashwin can play in the longest format for 8 more years, saying that Ashwin can certainly push for 600+ wickets in his career before indicating the possibility of reaching Muralitharan's landmark figure.
"Ashwin is 34 now. I think he will probably play till 42 in Tests. I think his batting might drop off but he’ll be more lethal with the ball by the time passing by. I can see him pushing 600+ Test wickets at least. He might even break Muttiah Muralitharan’s record (of 800 Test wickets) as well," Hogg said in a conversation with Times Now.
"The reason why I think he’s so good because he is adaptable and his hunger of continuing to grow up as a cricketer. He also played county cricket to get used to England conditions and that’s how he has become so successful especially in recent years."
Anil Kumble currently holds the record for most wickets by an Indian in Test (619 in 132 matches). Overall, Ashwin is currently the fourth-highest wicket-taker for India, behind Kumble, former Indian captain Kapil Dev (434 wickets) and Harbhajan Singh (417 wickets).
Calling Ashwin the "best off-spinner in the world right now," Hogg said that he is like a "chess player" on a cricket field.
"He’s definitely the best off-spinner in the world right now but we can’t call him the greatest off-spinner of all time due to the change of rules and conditions. Ashwin doesn’t like to be beaten whenever he’s in a contest. He is someone you want to play against because you know that you’re going to be tested and you can test him as well.
"I think he’s a very good chess player out of the cricket field. I have respect for Ashwin especially after he showed the courage of playing in tough conditions in Australia in the last tour. It’s a privilege to play against him and he’s been brilliant," said Hogg.