Ashwin to continue experimenting

Last Updated 29 March 2014, 22:17 IST

It doesn’t take much time for critics between placing R Ashwin on the pedestal and bringing him down. Since his debut for India some four seasons ago, he has been raved and ravaged in equal measure.

Some of the criticism against him may be justified but on most occasions it has appeared bordered on the ulterior intentions. From his ‘overuse’ of carrom delivery to the recent experiments to bowl with full-sleeve shirt have attracted both criticism and smirks in copious quantity from former players and experts alike.

“I want to do something different,” Ashwin reiterated when asked about his continued attempts at variations. “I want to keep trying something, you have to try and venture and find out what can work or not (for you). I’d never bowled in full-sleeves before. So I wanted to see how it would feel. And I just wanted to see if you can get more revolutions on the ball if you can do a little bit with your elbow, as much as that is (allowed).

That’s what it was all about. You can get a lot of advantage with these things, so why should I lag behind if someone else is getting a competitive edge?” he reasoned.

It’s open to interpretation as to what Ashwin was suggesting but there are a fair few bowlers who bowl with full sleeves on and whose actions have come under scanner. Ashwin always bowls with half sleeves and has one of the cleaner actions for an off-spinner.

Ashwin and his fellow Indian spinners have enjoyed some great success in the ongoing World T20 and the Tamil Nadu spinner spoke on the conditions here. “There has been enough dew in all the games that we’ve played,” he pointed out.

“In a 20-over game, I’m sure there’s effect of dew but it’s much less than what it is in a one-day game. The ball is going to be out in the field for longer in a one-day game. Now, even that is nullified to a certain extent because the ball is in the umpire’s hand for one over. In terms of gripping (when there’s dew), you’ll not be in a position to put the ball where you want, as you think. You’ll not be in a position to put revolutions on the ball. Yes, it is a disadvantage,” he explained.

Talking on his strategy, Ashwin said: “It’s a bit of variation in pace more than anything else. That’s what I’ve been looking to do – vary the length and vary the pace. (If) you slow it down, you can get a bit of purchase. There were a few occasions when I slowed it down and the ball actually spun the other way yesterday (Friday). So, I don’t know what it is. The wicket is quite slow. You can’t say it’s been gripping. Obviously, a leggie bowling over the top and slowing it down will give some revs on any wicket.

That is one advantage but if you’re prepared to slow it down and take pace off the ball, you’re in with a chance here.”

(Published 29 March 2014, 20:09 IST)

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