Ashwin vs Harbhajan in Tests: IN NUMBERS
Updated on: Nov 29, 2021 11:29 am IST
Ashwin vs Harbhajan – Ravichandran Ashwin has recently taken 400 wickets in the last test match between India and England. He became the 4th Indian bowler to achieve this milestone. This has created a lot of talk about the comparison of him with the Indian spin legend Harbhajan Singh.
Ashwin vs Harbhajan in Tests
We look at the statistical comparison between the two bowling greats of world cricket. The aim of this article is to compare both the players through numbers and not to derive a conclusion on who is better. Both of them are the legends of the game and have played in different eras. We first start by looking at the statistics of the top 5 wicket-takers of the Indian team.
Highest Wicket Takers for India in Test
Anil Kumble leads the chart with most wickets for India. Harbhajan Singh is 3rd on the list with 417 while Ashwin is at 4th with 401 wickets. The interesting thing here to note is the average and strike rate among the top 5 bowlers with the most wickets in the test for India. R. Ashwin has the lowest average and strike rate among them. He averages 24.95 and takes the wicket every 53 balls on test cricket. In terms of 5 wickets per innings and 10 wickets per match, he is second in the table at 29 and 7 respectively.
This means he has a better average and strike rate in comparison to Harbhajan Singh to start with. We move on to the comparison between Ashwin and Harbhajan.
We now look at the records for both the spinners on home and away tests.
Test Wickets for India at Home and Away
The number clearly shows Ashwin has better records at both home and away in test matches in comparison to Harbhajan Singh. Ashwin has an average of 22.19 and a strike rate of 48.3 at home while Harbhajan has an average of 28.77 and 64.11 at home. While playing away the difference is similar to home. Ashwin averages 31.19 and has a strike rate of 63.71 while Harbhajan Singh averages 38.9 and has a strike rate of 76.26. The difference is not huge but Ashwin has an advantage in terms of numbers at both home and away.
Now the away matches in the table include subcontinent countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc. To further drill down the away stats, we look specifically at the performances of both the players in SENA countries.
Test Wickets in SENA Countries
The above table shows both the spinners stats in S.E.N.A countries. Ashwin has picked up the most wickets in Australia among the four countries. He has picked up 39 wickets in 18 innings at an average of 42.15 in Australia.
While on the contrary surprisingly Harbhajan Singh has struggled in Australia. Even though he has bowled only in 7 innings there he has only taken 9 wickets there at an average of 73.22 which is his highest among S.E.N.A countries. In England the records are similar, but Ashwin has once again a better average and strike rate in comparison to Harbhajan Singh.
While in New Zealand Ashwin has only played one match. Although Harbhajan Singh has a great record in New Zealand as he took 21 wickets at an average of just 24.19 and his best among S.E.N.A countries. It is South Africa where Harbhajan Singh has managed to outperform Ashwin. While in 6 innings Ashwin has only managed to take 7 wickets at an average of 46.14, Harbhajan Singh in 7 innings played has taken 18 wickets at an average of 34.
Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh both have played 34 innings in S.E.N.A countries and have taken 63 and 62 wickets respectively. So, it is hard to say who has been better in S.E.N.A countries overall but you can compare it based on each country individually.
Ashwin vs Harbhajan Team Wickets
Ashwin has taken a total of 29.46 % of team wickets while Harbhajan Singh has taken a total of 25.40% of team wickets.
Analysis of Dismissals of the Batting order
The above graph shows the percentage of their total wickets taken in terms of batting order by both the bowlers. It can be seen that Ashwin has taken more percentage of wickets of batsman batting from 1-3 in comparison to Harbhajan Singh. Ashwin took 30.9% of his total wickets of the top order in comparison to Harbhajan Singh 25.9%. While Harbhajan has taken more percentage of his total wickets when it comes to the middle order and lower order at 38.4% and 36.2% in comparison to Ashwin’s 36.2% and 32.9%.
It can be said that Ashwin has dismissed more top and middle-order batsman with a total of 67.1% while Harbhajan had a total of 63.8%.
Ashwin vs Harbhajan Match Won Stats
In 89 innings that Ashwin have played when the team have won the match, he has taken 280 wickets at an average of 19.63 including 24 5wicket hauls in an innings. While in 84 innings played by Harbhajan Singh when the team have won the match, he has taken 221 wickets at an average of 22.76 including 14 5wicket hauls in an innings. It can be seen that Ashwin has contributed more in terms of taking wickets when the team wins the match and has performed better statistically than Harbhajan Singh.
The overall statistical comparison shows Ashwin has an edge over Harbhajan Singh in tests but as I said at the start of this article that it is more of a statistical comparison and not to derive a conclusion on who is better as there are various factors like pitches, opposition quality etc. that are not into considerations and both are the legends of the game.
LAST UPDATED Mar 3, 2021