India vs England witnessed Ravichandran Ashwin completing 400 wickets in Test cricket. He became the fourth Indian cricketer to enter the 400-wickets club. Harbhajan Singh is the only other off-spinner in this club of players. In the past few days, there has been a discussion about who is the best Indian off-spinner. There would be varied opinions from people.
It can be argued that Ashwin is the best spin bowler in the world right now, but Harbhajan Singh with 417 wickets remains the third-highest wicket taker for India. Although Bhajji has called it quits in the international circuit, his hat-tricks and ability to spearhead the Indian attack cannot be unseen.
Gautam Gambhir has spoken on the debate of best spinner. He said “It’s difficult to compare eras, but at the moment I would feel that with everything around, I would still rate Harbhajan better when he was at his peak. And Ashwin at the moment is probably the best off-spinner in the world but if I have to compare with Harbhajan Singh, with the kind of wickets he played on with no DRS,” Gambhir said during a show on ESPNCricinfo.
Despite agreeing to Harbhajan’s name, Gambhir also had his reservations. He said there are some areas where Ashwin is better than Harbhajan. He said, “At the same time, Harbhajan had that advantage of bowling a doosra. He [Ashwin] doesn’t have that option because doosra is not allowed by a finger spinner. Despite of that, the amount of variations Ashwin has, it’s a tough one but at the moment, I would still give it to Harbhajan Singh. If I talk from the overall package point of view, Ashwin is probably a better package than Harbhajan purely from a bowler’s point of view.”
Gambhir was diplomatic in choosing his words about the two off-spinners. But it cannot be disagreed that the batsman-turned-MP made some perfect observations.