Former Pakistani spin wizard and bowling legend Saqlain Mushtaq admitted that he was not fully satisfied with Nathan Lyon’s abilities as a spinner. In his recent interaction with the media, Mushtaq said that India’s R. Ashwin was way ahead of Lyon, and the latter would have to perform better to be in the same league as Ashwin. Mushtaq also spoke about England’s Moeen Ali and discussed his abilities.

“Nathan Lyon and Moeen Ali still need to prove themselves but Ashwin is a world-class bowler and is bowling superbly at the moment,” Saqlain told reporters in Bangladesh. “Ashwin has proved himself at Test level but the other two still need to do a bit more.” “Ashwin has skills. He has troubled batsmen in the subcontinent and he is capable of doing that outside as well,” Saqlain said. “One needs to accept that in places like England and Australia, the performance graph will go down a bit,” Mushtaq added.

“In Australia, you will play with three pacers and a specialist spinner, in India it will be opposite. The surface, the condition, the ball, everything changes. So if Ashwin gets five-for in India, he will perhaps get three in Australia.  “A captain’s plan for spinners in Australia is completely different unless there is some grip in the pitch. Spinner is your fourth option and accordingly will bowl less number of overs,” Mushtaq said.

Mushtaq analysis of the two might be accurate indeed, as Ashwin has achieved unparalleled success among the modern crop of spinners. While Ashwin rules the roost in all formats, Lyon is not even a regular member in Australia’s squad for the shorter formats.