R Ashwin had an impressive outing in Australia, when Team India’s senior spinner produced a clinical display with the ball and stood up to the task, when required to play the perfect second-fiddle with the bat.
The 34-year-old maintained the impressive form in the following Test series against England and helped India register their berth in the finals of the World Test Championship, which will be played on June 18 against New Zealand.
Despite Ashwin’s remarkable show, the spinner failed to fit in Sanjay Manjrekar’s all-time-great list. The cricketer-turned-commentator also pointed out the spinner’s area of weakness and said he has a “problem” when people brands the 34-year-old as “one of the all-time greats of the game”.
Manjrekar during a show on ESPNcricinfo said: “When people start talking about him (Ashiwn) 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.
Ashwin is currently the world No.2 bowler in the ICC Test rankings and is just nine wickets away from overtaking Harbhajan Singh to become India’s third-highest wicket-taker.
Ashwin has so far scalped 409 wickets in 78 Tests at an average of 24.69, which include seven 10-wicket hauls in a Test match.