Ashwin probably not as attacking as Harbhajan Singh: Matthew Hayden

Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden believes that R Ashwin is not as attacking an off-spinner as veteran Indian offie Harbhajan Singh. Drawing a comparison between the two, Hayden said that both the spinners have masterful skills set but the Turbantor is a bit more attacking than the Tamil-Nadu lad. However, Hayden was quick to add that Ashwin doesn’t need to be attacking since he has a better fast bowling support than Harbhajan.

Referring to Ashwin’s recent feat where he claimed 300 wickets Hayden in an interview with PTI said, “I think stats often lie but having said that, some of the milestones show remarkable respect to Ravichandran Ashwin, who is fastest to 300 wickets in Test cricket. Even if he (Ashwin) plays for another five years, he would be remembered as one of the greats of his generation. His skill-set, like Harbhajan, is masterful but he is probably not as attacking off-spinner as Harbhajan was.”

However, he was quick to add that Ashwin doesn’t need to be attacking as he has the support of a terrific seam bowling attack. “Ashwin doesn’t really need to be as attacking as Bhajji. His role within this side is well-defined by a slightly better fast bowling attack (as support cast) than what my generation was facing. You line-up Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and put Jasprit Bumrah into the mix with Jadeja as the second spinner as well. So Ashwin is playing his role and doing it successfully.”

“Harbhajan I thought in his era was ‘the dominant bowler’ especially against Australia so if Bhajji wasn’t taking wickets, India were in trouble. I don’t think Venkatesh Prasad was a wonderful Test match bowler. I think Harbhajan was the lone role maker. With due respect, Zaheer Khan or Javagal Srinath were wonderful bowlers but I think they were less of a threat compared to guys that are there now,” Hayden further added.

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