Ashwin the best off-spinner in the world - Swann

The performances of Ravichandran Ashwin in England have caught the eye of Graeme Swann, who feels the India off-spinner is the world's best.

Graeme Swann's pick, Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates a wicket in the first Test with England.   -  Getty Images

Ravichandran Ashwin has been hailed as the best off-spinner in world cricket by former England star Graeme Swann.

Ashwin was excellent for India in their first Test defeat to England this month, a performance Swann was eager to praise.

The right-armer took seven wickets for 121 runs but could not prevent India falling to a 31-run loss at Edgbaston in a thrilling opener to the five-match series, which England leads 2-1 going into the fourth match at Southampton.

Speaking to Times of India, Swann said: "Ashwin is easily the best off-spinner in the world. His record in the subcontinent is phenomenal and I loved the way he bowled at Edgbaston.

READ: Ashwin the best off-spinner in the world - Swann

"Australia's Nathan Lyon has come up brilliantly and I am impressed by the fact that he has been successful back home.

"He hasn't been as effective in England and I would keep Ashwin just ahead of him because of the variations he has, in addition to being brilliantly consistent.

"[Ashwin] is the best in Test cricket, but in T20s you can't look beyond [Afghanistan's] Rashid Khan. He has a fast arm, a great googly and a brilliant story as well.

"Rashid is just a very exciting cricketer and I would love to see him be successful in Tests as well, as and when he gets to play regularly."

England all-rounder Moeen Ali had previously been its first-choice spinner, but poor form in Australia and New Zealand has seen him so far left out of the series with India, having also been omitted from the two-game duel with Pakistan.

But a superb knock of 219 in a recent County Championship match for Worcestershire against Yorkshire, in which he took 8-89 with the ball, has boosted Moeen's hopes of a recall.

Adil Rashid was controversially brought back into the Test fray for the India series and, asked about England's difficulty in finding a front-line spinner, Swann said: "Yes, we have struggled, but Moeen is a good spinner, but I think he doesn't believe he is a good spinner.

"Unless he gets the belief back with the red ball, he will never be able to do the job in Tests. He needs to have more revs on the ball to get the batsmen out."