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Ian Chappell and Sanjay Manjrekar debate over if Ravi Ashwin is 'all-time great' in cricket

According to Sanjay Manjrekar, R Ashwin does not have a single five-wicket haul in SENA countries - South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia.

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Ian Chappell and Sanjay Manjrekar debate over if Ravi Ashwin is 'all-time great' in cricket
Ian Chappell and Sanjay Manjrekar debate over if Ravi Ashwin is 'all-time great' in cricket
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Is off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin the 'all-time great' in the game of cricket? While some may agree to it, there are however some like former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar who has objected to this statement.

According to the Indian commentator, Ashwin does not have a single five-wicket haul in SENA countries - South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia.

Moreover, he also added that Ashwin's counterpart, Ravindra Jadeja - whom he had earlier called 'bits and pieces' cricketer - has matched him shoulder to shoulder in India. 

The cricketer-turned-commentator Manjrekar also stated that in India's 3-1 Test series win against England at home, Axar Patel bagged 27 wickets in three matches, while Ashwin pocketed 32 wickets in four games.

Manjrekar's comments came while speaking on an ESPNCricinfo show. In the same panel was Australian great Ian Chappell, who countered and disagreed with the 55-year-old.

Chappell cited West Indies legend Joel Garner's example to stated how he too did not have many five-wicket hauls, but, he performed with three 'very fine players. Ian Chappell also said that Axar had left the English batsmen clueless as they were focused on Ashwin. 

"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. 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," Chappell added.

The Australian legend also added that Ashwin is better than Nathan Lyon. "I think Ashwin is a better bowler than Nathan Lyon. Have a look at Nathan Lyon's strike rate, you are in the 70s and I am going back to 2018. Nathan Lyon, to me, I think runs get scored through the onside when he is bowling to the right-handers and that really just shouldn't happen. Yes, he is a fine bowler but I think Ashwin is a better bowler," concluded Chappell.

Thirty-four-year-old Ashwin has a stellar record in Tests with 409 wickets to his name in 78 matches at an average of 24.69. This includes 30 five-wicket hauls in an innings and seven 10-wicket hauls in a Test match. 

He's also India's fourth-highest wicket-taker currently and is nine behind Harbhajan Singh, 26 behind Kapil Dev, and 211 behind Anil Kumble.

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