'I agree with Chappell, Ashwin has the edge for me': Former Pakistan captain explains why Ashwin is better than Lyon
Sanjay Manjrekar's recent comments on senior Team India off-spinner R Ashwin has sparked a debate in the cricketing circles. The former India batsman said that he doesn't agree with Ashwin being termed as an 'all-time great' because of his performances in SENA- South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia.
"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," Manjrekar said during a Cricinfo show.
Australian great Ian Chappell, who was also a part of the panel on the same show, disagreed with Manjrekar and called 34-year-old Ashwin of the best bowlers currently. Moreover, he went on to say that Ashwin is better than Aussie spin veteran Nathan Lyon.
"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.
Responding to Chappell's observations and addressing the discussion, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt concurred with Chappel, saying he would pick the Tamil Nadu off-spinner over his Australian counterpart.
While speaking in a video posted on his YouTube channel, Butt explained his reasons for his stance.
Salman Butt has responded to Ian Chappell's recent claims that Ravichandran Ashwin is better than Nathan Lyon. Salman Butt agreed with the former Australian skipper's stance, explaining why he would pick the Indian off-spinner over his counterpart if given a chance.
“I agree with him. If you compare the two, both have a great line and length. But when it comes to variations, Ravichandran Ashwin is better. If you have to pick one and look at their utilities I will pick Ashwin. He bats, plays in all three formats and always does well. Even his action is a little hard to pick, while Nathan Lyon’s action is basic. I wouldn’t say there is a huge difference between the two, but Ashwin has the edge for me,” Butt claimed.
While southpaw Butt agreed that both spinners are great, he added that Ashwin's performances across formats and his ability to batt well gives him the upper hand.
“Ashwin uses angles and the crease well, and uses his fingers like Ajantha Mendis. He has been a top performer in all three formats of the game. Ravichandran Ashwin has done well in the IPL too, and there is a stark difference between Nathan Lyon and Ravichandran Ashwin. I have to agree with Chappell. Nathan Lyon is a wonderful bowler as well. But if you compare the two, if I was the captain, I would pick Ashwin. He bats as well,” opined Butt.
Ashwin is currently in Southampton with the Virat Kohli-led Team India, preparing for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Kane Williamson's New Zealand. The summit clash will take place at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, beginning on June 18.