Kapil Dev is being deemed as one of the finest cricketers to have ever donned the Indian jersey and his numbers across all formats of the game have been absolutely staggering. Not only did he lead the Indian charge in England to lift India’s maiden Cricket World Cup but he also was one of India’s finest all-rounders with his staggering numbers being conveniently out of others’ reach.
Kapil Dev played a staggering 130 Tests and 200 ODIs where he managed to pile up 9000 international runs and claim 700 scalps, transcending him beyond the ordinary. Irfan Pathan was once deemed as the closest to have broken Kapil’s records but he fizzed away in the middle while Hardik Pandya has drifted in and out of form and what can be the possible future seems to bleak for the Gujarat Titans captain.
However, if there has been one moniker that has come extremely close in terms of matching Kapil’s iconic figures, it had to be the one and only Ravichandran Ashwin. With 449 wickets and 3000 runs in Tests, Ashwin is statistically the second best all-rounder for India in the longest format of the sport.
When asked about this record of Ashwin beating the likes of Kapil Dev in terms of numbers in Test cricket, Ashwin said it was indeed a privilege to at least be uttered in the same breath as that of the Indian icon who taught the entire nation to dream.
Ashwin said, “I don’t want to sound too humble or too sceptical. But when you do something in your life, you want to be the best at what you want to do, right? Kapil Dev is not just a great Indian cricketer, but is one of the greatest cricketers the world has seen. And if you take up the bat and the ball, I suggest, any child, any kid that is taking the ball or the bat today must be aspiring to be the best in the world. It doesn’t matter who’s done it in the past, you have to want to be the best in the world.”
He further added, “When you play for India, expectations are going to be there. You’re bound to have expectations. But you can’t allow that to bog yourself down. You know, I am someone who lives for the big moments and pressure moments. So for me, anytime there is a big match, any time there’s a lot of pressure I really enjoy it. So, I’m looking forward to the pressure.”