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Have a problem when people call Ashwin all-time great: Manjrekar

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Mumbai, June 6 (IANS) Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has said that he has a “few problems” when people call Ravichandran Ashwin as “one of the all-time greats of the game”.

The off-spinner, who has played 78 Tests and taken 409 wickets, has 30 five-wicket hauls, most of them on Indian pitches.

“When people start talking about him as being one of the all-time greats of the game then I have a few problems. One basic problem I have with Ashwin is that when you look at SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) countries, Ashwin doesn’t have a single five-wicket haul there,” Manjrekar told cricinfo.com.

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Of Ashwin’s 409 Test wickets, 286 have come in India, including 24 five-wicket hauls.

Manjrekar feels that all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has matched the off-spinner in the last four years.

In fact, the cricketer-turned-commentator says that someone like left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who made his Test debut earlier this year, too is fast emerging as a dependable bowler.

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“And the other thing when you talk about him running through sides on Indian pitches that are suited to his kind of bowling is that in the last four years, Jadeja has matched him with wicket-taking abilities.

“Then, interestingly, in the last series against England, Axar Patel got more wickets than Ashwin on similar pitches. So that is my problem with accepting Ashwin as a real all-time great,” said Manjrekar.

Patel, who made his Test debut earlier this year, took 27 wickets in in three Tests against England, while Ashwin played all four and emerged the highest wicket-taker in the series with 32 wickets.

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–IANS

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