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'The Bradman of bowling'

India's Ravi Ashwin bowls against Australia in Adelaide in 2012.
India's Ravi Ashwin bowls against Australia in Adelaide in 2012. David Mariuz

RAVI Ashwin has Australia's batting line-up on high alert, and now he's been given an extraordinary moniker by Australian great Steve Waugh: "the Bradman of bowling".

Ashwin is on his way to breaking many bowling records, and this week became the fastest bowler to reach 250 Test wickets - a record long held by Australian legend Dennis Lillee.

Ashwin reached the mark in 45 Tests, three quicker than when Lillee set the record in 1981, but despite his impressive resume it is considered sacrilege to compare one's record to Bradman.

Bradman's record remains leaps and bounds ahead of anyone else in history - having hit 29 Test centuries to finish on the ridiculous average of 99.94.

However, it was a comparison Waugh was happy to make - and one that sounded an ominous warning for Australia.

"Ashwin is basically the Bradman of bowling," Waugh is quoted as saying at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

"What he is doing is quite incredible.

"Plus, he has been a handy batsman.

"I think he is the player we have to overcome.

"The Australians would have to look at ways to overcome Ashwin's bowling. If the Aussies can do that then we will have a chance. The guys need to stay calm under pressure."

Ashwin has 11 Tests to beat Lillee to 300 wickets, which would lock up another record for the outstanding off-spinner.

"The way he is playing at the moment, he is going to break a number of records," Waugh added.

"Ashwin's statistics are just mind-boggling."

Waugh was cautious in responding to Sourav Ganguly's taunt that Australia would leave Indian shores without a win.

"It's foolish to write (Australia) off like that," Waugh said.

"I think anything can happen. India hasn't seen a lot of our players.

"I believe (Mitchell) Starc is the best quick bowler in the world and (Josh) Hazlewood is right up there.

"The spinners - the jury's out a bit there but (Nathan) Lyon is a very good competitor.

"Sourav is a bit optimistic and I'll challenge him on that. Certainly, Australia won't be going to India thinking that they will lose 4-0."

Topics:  steve waugh

News Corp Australia