Sanjay Manjrekar, former India cricketer turned commentator explained why he doesn’t consider Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as an all-time great citing Ravindra Jadeja’s example.
Ravichandran Ashwin has impressive stats as off-spinner-409 wickets in 78 matches at an average of 24.69, including 30 five-wicket hauls in an innings and seven 10-wicket hauls in Tests. These aren’t just random numbers but the Test record of Team India’s fourth-highest wicket-taker currently.
Sanjay Manjrekar: Ravichandran Ashwin Doesn’t Have A Single 5 Wicket Haul In SENA Countries So He Can’t Be Termed One Of All-Time Greats
The senior India off-spinner is regarded as not only one of the best spinners in India but also in the world. In the list of highest wicket-takers in the history of Test cricket, Ravichandran Ashwin is the fifth most successful spinner currently. In India, he’s only behind Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, and Harbhajan Singh in terms of most wicket-takers.
Despite possessing such stellar numbers, Ravichandran Ashwin does not make the cut as an all-time great for former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar.
While speaking on a show on ESPNCricinfo, Sanjay Manjrekar said that the reason behind his decision is the fact that Ravichandran Ashwin does not have the numbers in SENA countries – South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia – to show for it. The cricketer-turned-commentator also added that his colleague Ravindra Jadeja has often been at par with the Tamil Nadu off-spinner.
“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.”
“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. 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,” explained Sanjay Manjrekar.
Axar Patel Picked 27 Scalps In 3 Tests Against England And Finished 2nd Behind Ravichandran Ashwin (32 Scalps In 4 Tests)
Axar Patel made his Test debut in February 2021, six years after playing his maiden limited-overs match for India, and starred so much so with the ball that he ended up picking 27 wickets from the 3 matches in the series. He took 4 five-wicket hauls as England lost the series 3-1.
England managed to win only the first Test match which Axar Patel missed due to a knee injury. In his debut Test series, he picked 27 scalps to finish behind Ravichandran Ashwin (32) in the leading wicket-takers list.