Veteran Indian bowler Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the finest spinners in the world cricket and his records in the longest format speaks volume. Although the 34-year-old hasn’t played ODIs and T20Is since 2017, he still has been a crucial pick in India’s Test line-up.
In fact, Ashwin is the second-fastest bowler ever to register 400 Test wickets, achieving the feat in just 77 games. However, these numbers aren’t enough for Ashwin to get the ‘all-time great’ title from the former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar.
Sanjay Manjrekar, who’s always in the news for his sensational and controversial statements has said that senior Team India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is not one of the all-time greats as he does not boast of having registered a fifer in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand & Australia) countries.
The off-spinner has taken 30 five-wicket hauls in his career – 24 of which came in India, 3 in Sri Lanka, 2 in West Indies, and 1 in Bangladesh – none in the SENA countries, which is what Sanjay Manjrekar underlines heavily.
R Ashwin’s Record in SENA Countries Hasn’t Been Great: Sanjay Manjrekar
“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,” said Sanjay Manjrekar while speaking on ESPNCricinfo.
“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.”
He even cited the example of Axar Patel who made his Test debut earlier this year in the absence of injured Jadeja. Patel took 27 wickets in in three Tests against England while Ashwin was the top wicket-taker of the series with 32 scalps but having played in all four matches
“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,” the cricketer-turned-commentator/analyst added.
R Ashwin will next be seen in action during the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand that will be played at Ageas Rose Bowl in Southampton on June 18. After the one-off Test match, Virat Kohli & Co. will face England in a five-match Test series starting August 4.