'It might have been slip of tongue': Rashid Latif disagrees with Rohit's 'Ashwin is an all-time great' statement
Ashwin went past Kapil Dev's record of 434 wickets in the longest format of the game, becoming India's second-highest Test wicket-taker during the 1st Test against Sri Lanka last week.
Team India registered an emphatic victory over Sri Lanka, defeating the visitors by an innings and 222 runs in the first Test of the series in Mohali. The match was significant for a number of key landmarks; it was Virat Kohli's 100th Test and Rohit Sharma's first game as full-time captain in the longest format. During the course of the game, however, India's leading off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also achieved a massive feat in Indian cricket.
Ashwin went past Kapil Dev's overall wicket tally in Test cricket (434) to become the second-highest wicket-taker for India in the format. Only Anil Kumble (619 wickets) has more dismissals to his name than the 35-year-old spinner. Following the victory against Sri Lanka, captain Rohit labeled Ashwin an “all-time great.”
"He is an all-time great in my eyes. He is playing for so many years and performed for the country. So many match-winning performances, so for me, he is an all-time great. People might have different point of views but from where I see, he is an all-time great for me," Rohit had said.
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However, former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Rashid Latif said that while Ashwin is ‘best’ in Indian conditions, India have produced better bowlers than him when it comes to bowling in away matches.
“Ashwin, no doubt, is a great bowler. He has brought variations to his bowling. If you look at Ashwin in home conditions with SG ball, no doubt he is the best spinner in India. However, in away conditions, I would not agree with his (Rohit's) statement. Kumble was very good, he performed really well. Even Jadeja has performed really well. In the past, Bishan Singh Bedi was brilliant,” Latif said on his official YouTube channel.
“If we talk only in India, no doubt he is good. I think it (Rohit's statement) might have been a slip of tongue. It is a way of motivating the players,” the former Pakistan wicketkeeper further said.
India will return to action in the second and final Test of the series against Sri Lanka – which will be a day/night affair – on March 12.