India offspinner R Ashwin responded to Sanjay Manjrekar’s ‘not an all-time great’ assessment with a hilarious meme on Twitter. Ashwin posted a picture from a Tamil movie Anniyan, in which the lead character (actor Vikram) tells his friend (late actor Vivek) ‘apdi solladha da chaari, manasellam valikirdhu’ (don’t say that, my heart is paining). The post oozed sarcasm; Ashwin’s Twitter bio reads ‘Sarcasm and optimism my forte’.
— Mask up and take your vaccine (@ashwinravi99) June 7, 2021
Sanjay Manjrekar earlier had said he doesn’t consider Ashwin as an all-time great bowler considering he hasn’t taken any wicket in the so-called SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia). Ashwin has taken 409 wickets in 78 Tests so far including 30 five-wicket hauls as well.
“When people start talking about him as being one of the all-time greats of the game then I have a few problems,” Manjrekar said on ESPNcricinfo. “One basic problem I have with Ashwin is that when you look at SENA countries, Ashwin doesn’t have a single five-wicket haul there,” he added.
“And the other thing when you talk about him running through sides on Indian pitches that are suited to his kind of bowling is that in the last four years, Jadeja has matched him with wicket-taking abilities.
“Then, interestingly, in the last series against England, Axar Patel got more wickets than Ashwin on similar pitches. So that is my problem with accepting Ashwin as a real all-time great,” Manjrekar said.
Manjrekar’s views generated a social media storm, and he then justified his comments, defining what an all time great in the game of cricket is. He cited the example of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar as ‘all time greats’ in his book.
‘All- time great’ is the highest praise & acknowledgement given to a cricketer. Cricketers like Don Bradman, Sobers, Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Virat etc are all time greats in my book. With due respect, Ashwin not quite there as an all-time great yet,” he tweeted.