Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar said he has ‘problems’ with off-spinner R Ashwin being termed as one of the greats of all time considering he hasn’t taken any wicket in the so-called Sena Countries.
While Ashwin has been a consistent performer for India in the last decade and had an enviable record in Tests, the cricketer turned commentator Manjrekar doesn’t agree with Ashwin being called ‘all-time great’ yet.
The former cricketer questions Ashwin’s credentials in SENA Countries and insisted all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has matched his wicket-taking abilities in the last few years.
“When people start talking about him as being one of the all-time greats of the game then I have a few problems. One basic problem I have with Ashwin is that when you look at SENA countries, Ashwin doesn’t have a single five-wicket haul there. And the other thing when you talk about him running through sides on Indian pitches that are suited to his kind of bowling is that in the last four years, Jadeja has matched him with wicket-taking abilities. Then, interestingly, in the last series against England, Axar Patel got more wickets than Ashwin on similar pitches. So that is my problem with accepting Ashwin as a real all-time great,” explained Manjrekar at an ESPNCRICINFO show.
For the unversed Ashwin had scalped 409 Wickets in 78 matches at an average of 24.69, including 30 five-wicket hauls in an inning and seven 10 wickets hails in the Test match. Currently Ashwin is the fourth-highest wicket-taker for India.
Meanwhile, Former Australian Skipper Ian Chappell has rubbished Sanjay Manjrekar’s comments on Ravichandran Ashwin not being one of the all-time great of the game.
Not convinced with Manjrekar’s observation, Ian Chappell cited the legendary West Indies pacer Joel Garner, one of the most feared fast bowlers of all time as an example.
“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,” Chappell said.
“And I think, particularly of late, I find that the Indian attack has been so strong that the wickets are being shared around more. 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,” Ian Chappell added.
Ashwin is India’s Highest wicket-taker so far in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship heading into the final against New Zealand in Southampton on June 18.
He has so far scalped 67 wickets in 13 matches in the tournament and is the only player to have scored a hundred and taken 35+ wickets in the tournament.
While the debates and arguments have already started ahead of the World Test Championship Final, it will be interesting to see whether or not R Ashwin will get a chance to make his ball talk as the current Top-Two Test sides battle it out to be the ultimate ‘World Test Champions’