Former Australian Test cricket captain Steve Waugh has slammed Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin by describing him as the "Bradman of bowling" ahead of Australia's three Test series against India which begins in eight days.
“Ashwin is basically the Bradman of bowling,” Waugh is quoted as saying at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
Bradman only managed to claim two wickets in his entire Test career at an average of 36.0. This is in stark contrast to Ashwin's 254 at an average of 25.04 - figures which put Ashwin objectively ahead of Bradman using any bowling metric.
Using Bradman as a basis for comparison when discussing bowling has been seen as slightly unfair by Ashwin's contemporaries as Bradman was famously renowned for his batting.
"It's really unfair of Steve to say that about Ashwin," said a member of Australia's coaching staff who did not want to be identified.
"To compare his bowling to the Don's sells the kid short. I mean, it's like calling some young shortstop the Michael Jordan of baseball, or calling Adam Scott the Tiger Woods of fidelity...you just don't do it."
"If you mean it as a compliment, you can't compare someone to someone else who actually tried the same thing but much worse. You can say 'Ashwin is to bowling what Michael Schumacher was to driving' but Bradman bowled and he was shit."
Ravi Ashwin, when asked about the comparison, may have had the last laugh.
"I try not to listen to that sort of criticism. After all, it's coming from Steve Waugh. I've always thought of him as the Ursula of twins. Like Phoebe's twin, Ursula, in Friends. I like Friends. Joey always wants to eat things! Do you know Ursula in Friends? Do you like Friends?"
Ashwin will attempt to help his team extend their 19 Test unbeaten streak when they play Australia on February 23rd, the 22nd anniversary of the first airing of the Friends two-part episode where Joey falls in love with Ursula.