Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has termed Ravichandran Ashwin a better spinner than Nathan Lyon. Chappell pointed out that Lyon concedes a lot on the side when bowling to right-handers while Ashwin is hard to score off. Ashwin has accounted for 409 wickets in 78 Tests, including 30 five-wicket hauls and seven 10 wicket hauls. He is also India’s fourth-highest wicket-taker in Tests.
“I think Ashwin is a better bowler than Nathan Lyon. Have a look at Nathan Lyon’s strike rate, you are in the 70s and I am going back to 2018. Nathan Lyon, to me, I think runs get scored through the onside when he is bowling to the right-handers and that really just shouldn’t happen. Yes, he is a fine bowler but I think Ashwin is a better bowler,” said Chappell on ESPNcricinfo’s program ‘Run Order’.
Chappell’s comments came amidst Sanjay Manrekar’s controversial statement where he said that he doesn’t consider Ravichandran Ashwin a great bowler because of his average performance overseas, citing that Ashwin doesn’t even have a single five wicket haul in SENA countries.
“One basic problem I have with Ashwin is that when you look at SENA countries, places where Indians find themselves outside their comfort zone, it’s amazing to see that he doesn’t have a single five-wicket haul. Not one five-wicket haul in all these countries,” said Manjrekar on the same program.”
Countering Manjrekar’s opinion, Chappell compared Ashwin with former West Indian great Joel Garner and point out that the he didn’t had many five-wicket hauls to boast about but was a very important part of West Indies’ bowling unit. He added that India have a formidable bowling attack thus the wickets are shared between the bowlers.
“I would like to make a couple of points there, if you look at Joel Garner, I mean how many five-wicket hauls Joel Garner has? Not many, when you consider how good he was and his record. And why, because he was performing with three other very, very fine players. And I think, particularly of late, I find that the Indian attack has been so strong that the wickets are being shared around more,” said Chappell.
“And the other point I would make is because of Ashwin’s reputation I think the England players probably concentrated more on keeping Ashwin out and with Axar Patel, well, let’s be blunt about it, they didn’t have a bloody clue,” he added.