Joe Root explains the major difference between Nathan Lyon and Ravichandran Ashwin

Updated - 04 Mar 2024, 02:11 PM

Joe Root
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England star Joe Root has explained the difference between Nathan Lyon and Ravichandran Ashwin. Lyon and Ashwin are undoubtedly the two best spinners of this generation.

Among active cricketers, they are the only two spinners who have taken 500 Test wickets. Lyon achieved the feat in December last year during the Perth Test against Pakistan. On the other hand, Ashwin entered the elite club last month during the Rajkot Test against England.

Both the veteran spinners have been leading their respective team’s spin attack in Tests for over a decade now. Lyon has picked up 527 wickets in 128 Tests so far. Last week, he starred with the ball once again, taking 10 wickets in the first Test against New Zealand to power Australia to a thumping 10-wicket win in Wellington.

On the other hand, Ashwin has taken 507 wickets in 99 Tests so far. He became the quickest Indian bowler to reach 500 wickets in Tests. Overall, he is the second-fastest bowler to 500 Test dismissals with only Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan ahead of him. Ashwin also has the most Test wickets in India.

Joe Root on Lyon and Ashwin:

Joe Root has been facing both Lyon and Ashwin for over a decade now. One of the best batters of this generation, the former England skipper recently pointed out the major differences between the two star spinners. The right-handed batsman said that while Ashwin is good at dragging the batters outside the crease to beat both the edges, Lyon likes to trouble the batters with bounce.

“I’d say, Ashwin is making sure that you don’t play the previous ball. He is very good at trying to drag you across the crease and get your head to one side of it and beat both edges quite frequently,” Joe Root said while speaking on the Sky Sports Podcast.

“With Lyon it is all about, I think, especially in the first half of the Test to get over the top of the ball, get bounce bowl in between you like the knee roll and hit and try to bring short leg and leg slip into the game as much as he can and then just slowly, get slower with his pace and drift wider into that.

“Whereas Ashwin is probably slightly trying to find ways of getting you out rather than trying to wear you down, over long periods of time. That’s how I’ve always tried to approach them. By trying, trying to be clear, right, because that’s how they’re generally gonna operate,” he added.

Joe Root and Ashwin will be up against each other later this week when the fifth Test between India and England gets underway. The game is scheduled to be played from March 7 in Dharamsala.


Joe Root Nathan Lyon Ravichandran Ashwin