'If I was the captain, I would pick Ashwin' - Salman Butt weighs in Ravi Ashwin-Nathan Lyon debate evoked by Ian Chappell

‘If I was the captain, I would pick Ashwin’ – Salman Butt weighs in Ravi Ashwin-Nathan Lyon debate evoked by Ian Chappell

Salman acknowledged the fact that the Australian spinner has played on slightly difficult conditions.

Salman Butt and Ravichandran Ashwin
Salman Butt and Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell opened the room for discussion in the cricket fraternity by claiming that India’s Ravi Ashwin is a better spinner than Australia’s Nathan Lyon. Pakistan’s renowned commentator Salman Butt also echoed the sentiments of the former Australian skipper as he carried out a detailed analysis on why Ashwin is better than Lyon.

Ashwin and Lyon are regarded as two of the best spinners of the modern era. Both the spinners have performed exceptionally well for their respective national teams. However, Butt believes that Ashwin has more variations at his disposal and has a unique bowling action that is hard to pick for the opposition batters.

Further, Butt claimed that Ashwin is an all-round player as he is capable of contributing with the bat too. “I agree with him. If you compare the two, both have a great line and length. But when it comes to variations, Ravichandran Ashwin is better. 

“If you have to pick one and look at their utilities I will pick Ashwin. He bats, plays in all three formats, and always does well. Even his action is a little hard to pick, while Nathan Lyon’s action is basic. I wouldn’t say there is a huge difference between the two, but Ashwin has the edge for me,” Butt said in a video on his YouTube channel. 

Elaborating on the difference between Ashwin and Nathan, Salman Butt reckoned that Ashwin is a top-performer in all three formats of the game. The 36-year-old claimed that if he was the skipper then he would have picked Ashwin over Lyon in his Playing XI.

Nathan Lyon has had to bowl on bouncy and fast wickets most of the time: Salman Butt

“Ashwin uses angles and the crease well and uses his fingers like Ajantha Mendis. He has been a top performer in all three formats of the game. Ravichandran Ashwin has done well in the IPL too, and there is a stark difference between Nathan Lyon and Ravichandran Ashwin. But if you compare the two, if I was the captain, I would pick Ashwin,” Butt explained.

However, further, in the video, Salman acknowledged the fact that the Australian spinner has played on slightly difficult conditions. The Australian tracks are known for producing bounce and speed while the Indian conditions favor spinners. Talking about that aspect, the Pakistan veteran asserted that looking at the playing conditions, Lyon is at par with the Indian spinner.

“Obviously, conditions a huge factor. Your life is hugely dependent on where you play your cricket. Ashwin is from India, he has got to bowl on spinning tracks since childhood and he has gotten that help throughout his career. On the other hand, Nathan Lyon has had to bowl on bouncy and fast wickets most of the time. Despite that, he has given some outstanding performances. If you look at it from this lens, then Nathan Lyon is on par with Ashwin,” Butt signed off.