R. Ashwin and Nathan Lyon, both are great spinners and respective match winners for their team. But then comes the question, who has performed better in their respective Test career, each of which has lasted for more than a decade as of now.
The best way would be to check their statistics since their debut, so we’ll analyze that. Another important point to be noted is that both their performances have improved since 2015, and also it’s necessary to know how the bowler has performed in the past few years, so we’ll also compare performances since 2015, simultaneously.Embed from Getty Images
Ashwin: Wickets-365, Average-25, Bowling Strike Rate-54 (132 innings) Lyon: Wickets-390, Average-32, Bowling Strike Rate-63 (184 innings)
Since 2015, Ashwin: Wickets-251, Average- 23, Strike Rate-50 (90 innings) Lyon: Wickets-256, Average-30, Strike Rate-61 (110 innings)
Ashwin has proven better in this parameter.
Home and Overseas Performances:
Let’s compare how Ashwin and Lyon have performed at home and overseas conditions
Ashwin: Wickets-254 average- 23 Strike Rate-49 (83 innings) Lyon: Wickets-191 average- 32 Strike Rate-64 (92 innings)
Ashwin: Wickets-159 Average- 22 Strike Rate-48 (53 innings) Lyon: Wickets-117 Average- 32 Strike Rate-67 (54 innings)
Ashwin: Wickets-111 Average-31 Strike Rate-63 (49 innings) Lyon: Wickets-199 Average-31 Strike Rate-62 (92 innings)
Ashwin: Wickets-92 average- 26 SR-54 (37 innings) Lyon : Wickets-139 average- 28 SR-56 (56 innings)
Ashwin edges past Lyon here too.
Performances in Asia and outside Asia:Embed from Getty Images
Generally, it’s seen that the Asian wickets are more spin-friendly, whereas pitches outside Asia favour the faster bowlers. So, here we’ll take a look at how have they fared in Asia compared to outside Asia.
Ashwin: Wickets-297, Average- 23, Strike Rate-48 (97 innings) Lyon: Wickets-95, Average-31, Strike Rate-59 (37 innings)
Since 2015, Ashwin: wickets-202, average- 22, Strike Rate-47 (67 innings) Lyon: wickets-69, average-25, Strike Rate-52 (21 innings)
Ashwin: Wickets-68, Average- 38, Strike Rate-78 (35 innings) Lyon: Wickets-295, Average-32 , Strike Rate-64 (147 innings)
Since 2015, Ashwin: wickets-49, average- 30, Strike Rate-65 (23 innings) Lyon: wickets-187, average-32, Strike Rate-65 (89 innings)
In Asia, Ashwin is better whereas outside Asia it’s Lyon who has outperformed him if we take account of their performances throughout the career. But when we see performances since 2015, Ashwin has improved by leaps and bounds.
But since, Ashwin has outperformed Lyon in 3 out of 4 parameters, so this one goes to Ashwin.
Performances against Top Tier TeamsEmbed from Getty Images
The Top Tier Teams are surely the SENA and India in Tests, and let’s analyse their respective performances against these teams.
Ashwin (against SENA): wickets-234 average-27 Strike Rate-59 (85 innings) Lyon (against SENI): wickets-266 average-31 Strike Rate-63 (126 innings)
Ashwin (against SENA): wickets-154 average-24 Strike Rate-54 (53 innings) Lyon (against SENI): wickets-163 average-31 Strike Rate-63 (73 innings)
Ashwin wins here too.
The Match Winner
Now one more question remains unanswered that, “Agreed Ashwin has better stats than Lyon, but does he win matches for Team India?
Surely he does.
Man of the Series awards for Ashwin: 7 awards in 28 series Man of the Series awards for Lyon: 1 in 31 series.
Man of the Matches for Ashwin: 7 in 71 matches, i.e. 10.1 matches per award. Man of the Matches for Lyon: 4 in 96 matches, i.e. 24 matches per award
How has ICC rated them?
Let’s check how many times have both of them appeared in ICC Test Teams of the year, and what their rankings have been over the years in the ‘ICC Bowlers Rankings’ in Tests.
ICC Test Team appearances
Ashwin was selected in the ICC Test Team of the Year in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 i.e. 4 times. Whereas Lyon was selected in the ICC Test Team of the Year in 2018 and 2019, i.e. 2 times.
So, that is yet another parameter, and Ashwin has outperformed Nathan Lyon.
Let’s check the ICC Bowler Rankings for both of them, who’s ranked above? Ashwin or Lyon?
Surely it’s Ashwin. It’s Ashwin who has been the top spinner for so many years, was also the No.1 bowler in 2016–17, and has also remained in the top 5 for a huge amount of years.Embed from Getty Images
So, we have a clear winner here.
Featured Image: Getty Images
I’m a die-hard Cricket fan, and I love watching the game and writing about it. I’ve been writing articles on Cricket since September 2020 across various websites.