Ace Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has some staggering numbers in Test cricket and is often kept in the league of all-time great spinners Bishan Singh Bedi, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. However, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has issues with Ashwin being deemed as one of the all-time great spinners. Manjrekar believes that even though Ashwin performs well in subcontinent, his record in South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia (SENA) is not that great. He also reckoned that even Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel has done well on Indian dustbowls.
“One basic problem that I have with Ashwin is that when you look at SENA, the countries for batsmen and bowlers, places where Indians find themselves outside their comfort zone – it’s amazing that he doesn’t have a single five-wicket haul. Not one five-wicket haul in all these countries,” Manjrekar said in a show on ESPNCricinfo’s YouTube channel.
“The other thing – you talk about him running through sides on Indian pitches, when pitches are suited to his kind of bowling. But in the last four years, (Ravindra) Jadeja has matched him with wicket-taking ability throughout a series.
“So, Ashwin is not a guy who soars above the others. And interestingly, in the last series against England, Axar Patel got more wickets than Ashwin on similar pitches. That is my problem with accepting Ashwin as an all-time great.”
Ashwin ( 409 wickets in 78 Tests) is only behind Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and Harbhajan Singh in terms of most Test wickets for India. He is ranked second in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers and fourth among Test all-rounders. Meanwhile, Ashwin was India’s second-highest wicket-taker for India with 12 wickets in a remarkable series win over Australia earlier this year. The off-spinner is part of India’s squad for the World Test Championship final and the following Test series against England.
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