'It was the pinnacle of off-spin bowling': Gautam Gambhir picks R Ashwin's spell as the best he's ever seen
- One particular spell of R Ashwin is the best Gautam Gambhir has seen any spinner bowl in his life.
Gautam Gambhir has faced some of the best spinners of all time. From Muttiah Muralitharan to Graeme Swann to Saeed Ajmal, but for the former India batsman, no spell by any bowler comes close to the one which R Ashwin produced in the second Test against Australia in Melbourne last December.
Ashwin picked up 3/35 in the first innings of the MCG Test, which included the wickets of Matthew Wade for 30, Steve Smith for a duck and Australia captain Tim Paine for 13, but Gambhir reckons the spell to the former Australia captain stands out as the best he's seen in his life.
"The best spell I've seen in my career… forget about my career, probably since I've started watching cricket, was his spell at Melbourne," Gambhir said on the Runorder show on ESPNCricinfo.
"I have faced Murali a lot, faced Saeed Ajmal a lot, have played against Harbhajan a lot in the nets and I’ve faced him as well. But the spell that he bowled in Melbourne in the first session of the second Test match and that also against Steve Smith, it was the pinnacle of off-spin bowling. It can’t get better than that."
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It was during the same show that Gambhir called Harbhajan a better off-spinner than Ashwin, mostly due to the fact that had there been DRS during the time Harbhajan played his cricket, the off-spinner would have ended up picking a lot more wickets, probably close to 700. Having said that, Gambhir has equal respect for Ashwin for the beast that he has been at home, but when it comes to picking between the two spinners overseas, Harbhajan still gets the vote.
"Harbhajan hands down, just with the kind of bounce he used to get. Ashwin doesn't get that bounce, especially when he goes to Australia, England, or New Zealand or probably even South Africa," he said.