'Why can’t we just celebrate a guy who is a great bowler?': EX-NZ pacer tired of undue chatter, slams Ashwin's critics

  • IND vs NZ, 2nd Test: Following the culmination of Day 3 of the Mumbai Test, former New Zealand pacer lauded India off-spinner R Ashwin and slammed his critics.
India's Ravichandaran Ashwin, left, share a light moment with Virat Kohli during the day three of their second test cricket match with New Zealand in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)(AP)
India's Ravichandaran Ashwin, left, share a light moment with Virat Kohli during the day three of their second test cricket match with New Zealand in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)(AP)
Updated on Dec 05, 2021 10:24 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

It is not easy be to senior India off spinner R Ashwin. Despite climbing to third in the list of most wickets for Tests in India and winning his country innumerable matches, Ashwin continues to be criticized and comparisons continue to be made. Reacting to constant discussions surrounding him, former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull has lashed out at his critics.

Cricketer-turned-broadcaster, while chatting with Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik on Cricbuzz, asked why can’t we just celebrate a guy who is a great bowler?” He also spoke about why the discussion on his record at home is an unfair metric to judge him.

It is not easy be to senior India off spinner R Ashwin. Despite climbing to third in the list of most wickets for Tests in India and winning his country innumerable matches, Ashwin continues to be criticized and comparisons continue to be made. Reacting to constant discussions surrounding him, former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull has lashed out at his critics.

Cricketer-turned-broadcaster, while chatting with Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik on Cricbuzz, asked why can’t we just celebrate a guy who is a great bowler?” He also spoke about why the discussion on his record at home is an unfair metric to judge him.

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“Lot of people talk about Ashwin and how dominant he is at home. But there are so many bowlers around the world who have been in that exact place. Yes, his record away isn’t as good but so is the case with so many other bowlers as well. People try and find defects in numbers that suit their narrative. Why can’t we just celebrate a guy who is a great bowler?”

“We have all had bowlers who have dominated at home. If you look at seam bowlers in New Zealand, they have dominated at home but haven’t been as good away. It is just part and parcel of the game we play,” elaborated Doull. 

Meanwhile, Ashwin continues to make merry in the ongoing series. On Day 3, he picked up three wickets to help India restrict the Kiwis to 140/5 at Stumps after setting them a mammoth target of 540.

With his second wicket of the innings where he dismissed Will Young on 20, Ashwin reached a historic Indian milestone. The off-spinner went past stalwarts Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in taking 50 wickets in a calendar year for the most number of times (4).

Ashwin took 62 wickets in 2015, 72 wickets in 2016 and 56 wickets in 2016. Both, Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble took 50+ wickets in three different years each.

Most instances by Indian bowlers picking 50+ wickets in calendar year:

Ravichandran Ashwin (4) - 2015, 2016, 2017, 2021

Harbhajan Singh (3) - 2001, 2002, 2008

Anil Kumble (3) - 1999, 2004, 2006

Kapil Dev (2) - 1979, 1983

With 51 wickets so far, Ashwin will have an opportunity to add to his tally on Day 4. 

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Friday, January 28, 2022