Former Indian cricketer and legend Sunil Gavaskar has come under critique for his untimely comments about Shane Warne whose sudden death shocked the entire world on Friday.
Gavaskar was invited to an Indian show called India Today where he was asked to opine about whether Shane Warne was cricket’s greatest spin bowler. In reply what the veteran Indian opening batter said didn’t settle well with many cricket fans.
According to him, Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan, who sits at top of the list of most Test wickets as well as India’s own spinners were better than Shane Warne.
“No, I wouldn’t say that no. For me, the Indian spinners and Muttiah Muralitharan were better than Shane Warne,” said Gavaskar in the show. Giving reason to his remarks, the batter articulated that Warne could not perform too well against India while the Sri Lankan took many more wickets in India.
“In India, he got five wickets only once in Nagpur, and that too because Zaheer Khan swung wildly against him to give him a fifer. Because he did not have much success against Indian players who were very good players of spin, I don’t think I would call him the greatest. Muttiah Muralitharan with a greater success he had against India, I would rank him over Warne in my book.”
Australia’s leg spinner did actually take fewer wickets in India and average more than he did against other nations, 47.18 in 14 matches and only 43 wickets, but it did help Australia come out of a losing streak against India in 2004.
Muralitharan, on the other hand, was better in India in comparison and has overall more Test wickets than the Aussie spinner, yet Warne was voted by Wisden as one of the five greatest cricketers of the 20th century. But it isn’t the right time to pit two great players against each other, especially when it hasn’t even been a week since the Australian legend breathed his last, is what the fans and other cricketers are saying.