Former Pakistan spin-prodigy Saqlain Mushtaq has lauded Ravichandran Ashwin, terming him as an excellent performer at home. The 33-year-old Indian off-spinner crossed an elusive landmark of 350 Test wickets in October 2019 against South Africa in the first Test in Vishakhapatnam. The 350 wickets came from 66 fixtures while overall, he has 365 from 71.
Mushtaq’s comments came one day after he claimed that the Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon holds the edge over Ravichandran Ashwin in the most extended format. Having made his debut in 2011, Lyon has become one of the most prolific wicket-takers and is the highest wicket-taker amongst off-spinners for Australia. He has 396 scalps from 96 Tests.
The former spin-bowling coach firstly commended Lyon’s performances against England, India, and Pakistan.
Having looked at his renditions and strike rate (46.69), Saqlain Mushtaq terms him one of the best. But he admits none surpasses Ashwin when it comes to performing at home and using conditions entirely to his advantage. Saqlain Mushtaq also claimed that Ravindra Jadeja, who has 213 wickets in 49 Tests, is equally good.
“Right now, Nathan Lyon has been giving tremendous performances. He has performed against England, Pakistan, and even against India. As per his performances and strike rate, I think he is one of the best at the moment. Secondly, there is R Ashwin, who performs really good at home. He performs overseas as well, but there is no other bowler better than him in home conditions. Ravindra Jadeja in Test cricket is also good.” Saqlain Mushtaq stated as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
Shakib has a strong character, he is really courage, and he uses his brains: Saqlain Mushtaq
The 43-year old went on to sing words of praises for English spinner Adil Rashid and former Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan. While Shakib has been one of the vital cogs of Bangladesh line-up, Rashid is more of a limited-overs specialist while his performances in the Test arena have been lean. According to Mushtaq, Shakib Al Hasan is a skilled and shrewd craftsman along with being courageous.
“Adil Rashid has also given good performances. Shakib Al Hasan is also really intelligent. I have worked with Bangladesh Cricket Team. Shakib has a strong character, he is really courage, and he uses his brains. He is a clever bowler.” he added.