Ashwin is the "best off-spinner in the world", feels former England counterpart Graeme Swann
India's Ravichandran Ashwin and Afghanistan's Rashid Khan have received due praise from one of their former counterparts in the spin department. Englishman Graeme Swann, who is currently one among the Sky Sports' panel of experts in the ongoing Specsavers Test series between India and England, rated the Indian offie as the best spinner in Tests, while lauding Rashid Khan's efforts as supreme in the T20 department.
He was eloquent, especially when it came to praising Ashwin, who has been doing comparatively well for his side despite the English pitches offering next-to-nothing in terms of help. "Ashwin is easily the best off-spinner in the world. His record in the subcontinent is phenomenal and I loved the way he bowled at Edgbaston," Swann said, as quoted by The Times of India.
He was compared to Australia's Nathan Lyon too, but Swann drew the line at the fact that although Lyon had been successful back home, he hadn't been equally effective in England. To him, that was where Ashwin overtook the Aussie.
Swann then went on to speak some good words on the young Afghanistan leg-spinner, Rashid Khan. "Yes, [Ashwin] is the best in Test cricket, but in T20s you can't look beyond Rashid Khan. He has a fast arm, a great googly and a brilliant story as well," Swann said.
"Rashid is just a very exciting cricketer and I would love to see him be successful in Tests as well, as and when he gets to play regularly."
Ashwin has 324 Test wickets to his name so far, while Rashid Khan has 64 wickets in T20Is. The latter, Rashid, is also the no.1 ranked bowler in that format.
Swann also spoke about the England contingent feeling the lack of an effective spinner right now. England's spin-bowling woes date back to a time since Swann's retirement. Swann himself believes that Moeen Ali of the current England side can make a good spinner, but apparently "Moeen himself doesn't feel so". Swann feels that England need to find someone who can take up the role effectively, on a long-term basis.
The fourth England-India Test match will begin at Southampton on August 30th, 2018.