Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh, two of the greatest off-spinners to have represented India, have outstanding international records. Because the two bowling legends have similar skill sets, comparisons are made between them. Surprisingly, Ashwin was the only player to replace Harbhajan as Team India’s primary spinner across all formats.
With 436 Test wickets, Ashwin is second only to Anik Kumble (619) on the list of Indian bowlers with the most wickets in the game’s longest format. In terms of bowlers from around the world, Ashwin has also made the top ten list. Last year, in the first Test of a home series against New Zealand at Kanpur, he passed Harbhajan Singh (417) in the same list.
Gautam Gambhir gives verdict on Harbhajan vs Ashwin debate
In cricket, comparisons are unavoidable. Players with similar playing styles, batting positions, or records have all been compared to one another or to a legend of the game. Ravinchandran Ashwin, a veteran Indian off-spinner, has been compared to former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh because they both have over 400 Test wickets. And India’s great Gautam Gambhir weighed in on the debate over who is the better off-spinner.
“As a batter, I would hate to face Ravichandran Ashwin, but I would love to watch Harbhajan Singh. This means, that as a left-hander, I would always feel that Ashwin could dismiss me, but as an analyst, then Harabhajan…he had that bounce, that doosra and could dip the ball,” Gambhir said.
“And Ashwin, for a left-hander or any other batter, he is much more difficult to face because he is far more accurate and difficult because of his speed variations. Harbhajan Singh was more beautiful to watch,” he added.
During India’s home Test series against New Zealand in November, Ashwin passed Harbhajan to become the country’s third-highest wicket-taker. Three months later, he surpassed Kapil’s total of 434 wickets to take second place, trailing only Anil Kumble’s 619 wickets.
Ashwin is currently ranked ninth all-time, fourth among spinners, and second among off-spinners.