Image Courtesy: PTI/ICC/Twitter/Sanjay Manjrekar/Facebook
Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has rubbished Sanjay Manjrekar's comments on Ravichandran Ashwin not being one of the all-time greats of the game. Manjrekar 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.
Not convinced with Manjrekar’s observation, Ian Chappell, the astute captain of his time, cited the legendary Windies pacer Joel Garner, one of the most feared fast bowlers of all time, as an example.
“I would like to make a couple of points there — if you look at Joel Garner, I mean how many five-wicket hauls Joel Garner has? Not many, when you consider how good he was and his record. And why, because he was performing with three other very, very fine players,” Chappell pointed out as Manjrekar listened.
“And I think, particularly of late, I find that the Indian attack has been so strong that the wickets are being shared around more. And the other point I would make is because of Ashwin’s reputation I think the England players probably concentrated more on keeping Ashwin out and with Axar Patel, well, let’s be blunt about it, they didn’t have a bloody clue,” Ian Chappell added.
Earlier during the interactive session, Sanjay Manjrekar had opined why he feels that Ravindra Jadeja has matched with R Ashwin's bowling abilities.
"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 the ESPNcricinfo programme ‘Runorder’.
"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," 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 contested 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.
It remains to be seen whether or not R Ashwin will get a chance to make his ball talk in the ICC WTC final as the current top two Test sides battle it out for the biggest prize in red-ball cricket and the right to be called 'World Test Champions'.
(With PTI Inputs)