Former England spinner, Monty Panesar opines that Ravichandran Ashwin has the capability to become the best all-rounder in the world. Panesar makes this comment in the consequence of Ashwin’s match-winning all-round performance in Chennai.
R Ashwin, playing in front of his home crowd, bagged a fifer in England’s first innings, and then on a difficult batting surface, notched up his fifth Test ton as India level the series with a 217-run victory. Ashwin is now only the second cricketer ever – after Sir Ian Botham – to register the double of a fifer and a century in the same Test on three or more occasions.
Monty Panesar believes that Ashwin’s dual role helps him in thinking like a batsman and a bowler and that he is a very smart player to utilize the conditions. The former England off-spinner even goes on to say, in Ashwin’s praise, that the Chennai off-spinner is close to the likes of Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Anil Kumble, and Harbhajan Singh.
“What helps Ashwin is that when he bowls, he is able to think like a batsman and when he’s batting, he’s probably thinking like a bowler.
“He knows his job well. He knows when he has to attack the stumps; when he has to play a sweep shot. He is a special batsman and a special bowler as well. If the conditions favor him, he tries to be aggressive,” Monty Panesar told Times Of India.
“He has got all the qualities of being a number one all-rounder. He’s the best. He is in the same bracket as Murali, Shane, Kumble, Harbhajan,” he added.
R Ashwin sits on 392 Test scalps at an average of 25.2, which is better than that of Warne, Kumble, and Harbhajan.
Ashwin took on the responsibility really well in Jadeja’s absence: Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar also points out that Ashwin took the added responsibility of contributing with the bat as well in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja. The 34-year-old moved up to the fifth position in ICC all-rounder rankings. Jadeja is second on that list which is headed by Jason Holder.
“Ashwin is a leader of the spin department. Jadeja isn’t and in his absence, Ashwin took on the responsibility really well and performed. Ashwin is a package of a good all-rounder. Look at his batting, he was just amazing. He has scored a lot of runs in domestic cricket. Now, he is doing the same for India.
“Coming in at number 7 or 8 and scoring a century, that’s commendable. Ashwin’s best quality is that he knows how to adapt to conditions quickly. That’s what we call experience,” Monty Panesar further added.