The immensely skillful Ravichandran Ashwin enjoys an upper hand over the "GOAT" Nathan Lyon when it comes to the tough realms of Test match cricket in the subcontinental conditions, while the latter is significantly better and "scores over Ashwin" across rest of the world, said former England off-spinner John Emburey.
Emburey, a fine exponent of the beautiful art in his time played 64 Tests and picked up 147 wickets for England, as he perfectly summed up the basic difference between the two well-acknowledged spinners.
"Ashwin is a better bowler than Lyon in the sub-continent but in all other countries, Lyon scores over Ashwin," Emburey told Sportstar on Wednesday, December 26, "Lyon has grown as an off-spinner, he flights the ball, there is loop, bounce and turn. He uses his body and fingers, is a big spinner of the ball. And he is so accurate, his bowling is in complete harmony with his field placements."
"Lyon imparts over-spin and gives the ball air so there is bounce for him in Australia, South Africa and England. He bowls an attacking line outside the off-stump and turns the ball."
"Ashwin tends to push the ball through and on the Indian pitches, the tactic is very effective. When he does the same thing in Australia or South Africa, he doesn’t get the same purchase. There you need to flight the ball to get the bounce," he added.
Specifically on this Test series where Lyon is currently the leading wicket-taker and Ashwin picked up 6 scalps in India's historic Adelaide win, Emburey further said, "In the first innings of the Adelaide Test of this series, Ashwin did flight the ball and achieved bounce but in the second innings, he was back to pushing the ball through."
"Lyon principally relies on his sharp off-spin while Ashwin does not depend as much on his stock ball. He is more reliant on his variations. To Ashwin’s credit, he does get the ball to drift."
"Lyon is a quick learner. Earlier, he was struggling to bowl in India. But on the last tour he found the right pace to bowl in India, was quicker through the air, and there was a reward for him," he signed off.