England star Joe Root points out the difference between Ravichandran Ashwin and Nathan Lyon

Ravichandran Ashwin and Nathan Lyon are two of the most accomplished spin bowlers in modern cricket, known for their skill, guile, and ability to trouble even the best batters. Both bowlers have left their impact with unreal consistency and have attained the status of legend. Ashwin and Lyon belong to a unique club of 500-plus Test wicket club as well.

Ravichandran Ashwin: A spin maestro

Ashwin, hailing from India, possesses a vast array of variations, including a potent off-spin delivery, carrom ball, and subtle changes in pace and trajectory. His ability to consistently outthink batters and exploit their weaknesses makes him a formidable opponent in all formats of the game. Ashwin’s craftiness often comes to the fore in Test cricket, where he thrives on challenging pitches and can adapt his strategy according to the conditions.

Nathan Lyon: A traditional spin wizard

On the other hand, Lyon, representing Australia, is renowned for his classical off-spin bowling, characterized by accuracy, bounce, and subtle variations in flight. Lyon’s effectiveness stems from his ability to generate significant turn and bounce even on unresponsive surfaces, making him a constant threat to opposition batters. With over 500 Test wickets to his name, Lyon’s experience and mastery of his craft make him a pivotal figure in Australia’s bowling attack across all formats of the game.

Joe Root explains the difference between the two legendary spinners

Joe Root, the former England cricket team captain, offered insightful observations on the contrasting styles of Ashwin and Lyon, having faced both spinners numerous times in Test cricket. Root noted that while Ashwin excels at unsettling batters with his ability to constantly challenge them with different deliveries, Lyon focuses more on traditional off-spin bowling techniques, aiming to extract bounce and induce false strokes from batters.

“I’d say, Ashwin is making sure that you don’t play the previous ball. He is very good at trying to drag you across the crease and get your head to one side of it and beat both edges quite frequently. With Lyon it is all about, I think, especially in the first half of the Test match to get really over the top of the ball, get bounce bowl in between you like the knee roll and hit and try to bring short leg and leg slip into the game as much as he can and then just slowly, get slower with his pace and drift wider into that. There’s that footmarks, um, Mitchell Starc has so kindly done for him for such a long period of time.” said Root on Sky Sports Podcast.

Also READ: Michael Vaughan picks an England star who can become the next Ravichandran Ashwin

Root highlighted Ashwin’s proactive approach to seeking wickets compared to Lyon’s strategy of building pressure gradually over time. Understanding and adapting to these nuances, Root emphasized, are crucial for batters facing these two skilled spinners at the highest level of the game.

“Whereas Ashwin is probably slightly trying to find ways of getting you out rather than trying to wear you down, over long periods of time. That’s how I’ve always tried to approach them. Be trying, trying to be clear, right, because that’s how they’re generally gonna operate,” said Root.

Also READ: Nathan Lyon enters record books after Australia thrash New Zealand in the Wellington Test

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