Afghanistan v India, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 5, 2014

Ashwin back in business after going on the attack

Karthik Krishnaswamy in Mirpur
R Ashwin has always looked a better bowler when he has tried to take wickets, as was showcased in the Asia Cup
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All through his career, advice has followed R Ashwin wherever he has gone. Most of it has gone like this: don't try too many things; focus on your stock ball; stop bowling that carrom ball so much.

After nightmare tours of South Africa and New Zealand, in which he lost the lead spinner's place in the Test eleven and took just two wickets in eight ODIs at an average approaching 200, Ashwin seems to have taken all that advice and thrown it in the bin.

On Wednesday, he took three wickets against Afghanistan, two of them - the lbws of Mohammad Shahzad and Shapoor Zadran - with the carrom ball. He ended the Asia Cup with nine wickets; he took five of them with the carrom ball.

It's hard to remember Ashwin using the carrom ball this often in recent times. During the ODIs in New Zealand, he slipped it in every now and then, but apart from one spell to Ross Taylor in Hamilton, he didn't really use it in a sustained manner. And that, contrary to popular opinion, is exactly how he has used it for most of his career.

A look through his list of wickets reveals it is likely that only 19 out of Ashwin's 106 ODI wickets have come via the means of the carrom ball. He used it quite a lot in his early matches, but as batsmen around the world grew more comfortable with it, he began deploying it far less frequently. This was a completely natural cycle of evolution.

Along with this, however, he frequently bowled with less than optimal control. Against England at home, he provided a steady diet of leg-side singles to the right-hand batsmen and fed Alastair Cook's cut with a regular supply of short balls.

He seemed to work this out when Australia came visiting, with his then coach Sunil Subramaniam helping him correct his set-up at the bowling crease, aligning the heel of his landing front-foot with the toe of his back-foot. This change allowed Ashwin to bowl with more of a pivot, put more of his body into his action, and extract more help, as a consequence, out of the pitch.

He seemed to have forgotten all of this, however, by the time the South Africa tour came around. He not only wasn't turning the ball off the pitch, he didn't seem to be spinning it out of his hand either. In Johannesburg, he seemed to merely put the ball in a general area, on a fifth-day pitch, and wait for an error. In the ODIs before that and on the New Zealand tour, he bowled in much the same way.

All of that changed at the Asia Cup, if in a bizarrely circuitous manner. In India's first match, Ashwin seemed to be bowling one set of deliveries to Bangladesh's batsmen and tossing another bunch the spectators' way. In place of the hand-twisting motions that usually accompanies his run up, Ashwin was raising a pair of full-sleeved arms above his head, à la Sunil Narine.

All manner of outrage erupted, and it was perhaps out of proportion to the changes Ashwin had made. His approach to the crease hadn't changed significantly, and the things a spinner does with his hands during his run-up are often purely ornamental. If you compare videos of his spell against Bangladesh to any of his earlier spells, his set-up at the crease and his release weren't markedly different either.

It still made no sense why Ashwin had gone through all that, though, and he was back to bowling with his usual action a few deliveries into his first spell against Sri Lanka. Since then, he has looked better than he has for a long time.

He has still been patchy, but he has not been the Ashwin of South Africa and New Zealand, who seemed content to let batsmen milk him for three or four singles every over. He has been willing to ask the batsman to come after him, whether by dangling a full and wide carrom ball at Sharjeel Khan or by forcing Sohaib Maqsood out of his comfort zone with his field changes. The increased frequency of the carrom ball has been one sign of this.

At some level, this change has been forced on Ashwin. India have twice had to defend middling totals, against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The pitches, moreover, have helped the spinners. Virat Kohli's captaincy may have also contributed; the fact that he picked Amit Mishra as a third spinner, in a crunch game against Pakistan, showed that he might be inclined to view spin as an attacking weapon.

Whatever the case, Ashwin has always looked a better bowler when he has tried to take wickets. There is no way to tell if he will continue bowling this way, even in less helpful conditions, but you can still hope.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dhanno on March 9, 2014, 23:38 GMT

    big_cheese and you may add helpful conditions + against AFG, a team who has probably played 10 games against test sides in whole of its existence and who are definition of "new to the scene". When he encounters SL/ PAK, far better at handling spin, he will go back to his defensive mindsett, bowl fast and straight and keep the RPO at 5.8 ! Thats the mantra of spin bowling.. In T20s its great bowling if Ashwin can keep RPO at 7, what a amazing bowler !. The author should follow up article when Ashwin gets back to his old ways in 6 months time.

  • RK.Chandru on March 9, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    Ashwin with 9 wickets @ 18.5 runs was way better in the Asia cup than Shami with same no. of wickets @ 25.5 runs who was gifting runs in plenty or Jadeja who had a tally of 7 wickets @ 22.5 runs. Yet, there are only brickbats and no accolades. With the unpredictable Afridi at the crease, anything is bound to happen and he clicked. That's it. Ill deserved comments from people like Thomas Cherian can only put players under enormous pressure. Do not defend any bowler who had managed a few wickets more or gave a few runs less on tours abroad. See the impact their bowling had on the ultimate outcome on the match. India yet lost and hence, you can never call Jaddu a match winner. In fact, we lost one of the matches because of Jaddu's immature, illogical aggressive innings in which he scored 20 odd quick runs when he had MSD at the other end of the crease and more than a day of the match still remaining. People and the media often turn a blind eye when it comes to poor performance of others.

  • on March 8, 2014, 6:01 GMT

    dont compare a bowler with old dated bowlers like kumble and bajji, that days and all gone...no body's willing to take single and rotate the strike..this is period of t20..if kumble bowls now surely he will give 60+ runs in odi...ashwin is far better bowler than these two I'm current situation..

  • gorafa on March 7, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @MaruthDelft can't agree more.......Gurdit singh also made a good point.....

  • on March 6, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    Karthik Do you work for the firm that manages Ashwin? You gotta be kidding me with an article like this. He is a poor bowler who is clinging to his seat thanks to CSK and people like you who write this kind of stuff. Ojha, Mishra anyone for abroad but Ashwin....

  • bhushanB on March 6, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    What back in business......he is just bowling in sub-continent conditions.. thats alll

  • Presynaras on March 6, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    One thing everyone seems to forget is that Leg spinners and Left arm off spinners take the ball away from the batsmen in a similar manner. So bowling Jaddu, Mishra, or Ojha, Mishra, or Ojha, Jaddu, will only make batsmen get adapted to the bowling very easily. As we saw Afghan batters handle better when Jaddu and Mishra bowled in tandem. That is why we need an off spinner. Right now Bhajji is struggling even in domestic and if we bring in him now to intl team, that would be a bad precedent. Only good performance can be rewarded and Bhajji is far from being a good bowler. Mishra, though spins more, is still not efficient as we saw Ashwin and Jaddu picking more wkts than Mishra did in the 2 matches he played. Rassool is still not good enough for Intl cricket and needs 2 seasons more of domestic. Ash is our best bowler, but someone needs to talk some sense into him and better his action. All we need is a good bowling coach. Ashwin is our prime bowler.

  • Bloodwrath on March 6, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    We can bash ashwin all we want, but the sad truth is we don't have a quality bowler other than him in power plays. Jadeja at best is a one trick pony,doesn't know /forgets how to bowl when he's attacked constantly. India simply doesn't have the pace bowling talent to accommodate the likes of Mishra who was by far the best indian spinner on the tournament.

  • MaruthuDelft on March 6, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    India's lead spinner should be Ojah. Since Jadeja has done well recently he must take the second spot. Mishra performed badly in England in 2011. He has been punished. Now he must be given the second chance. Ashwin has not been punished. He must be dropped in all formats. Let him take wickets and score runs in domestic cricket. Then offer him the No 6 position and the 4th spinner position with Dhoni batting at 5. @ Aumlan Guha is right. Only Kohli and Pujara are better than Ashwin as batsmen. But first he must first be dropped as punishment. And India should not play more than 2 fast bowlers in any circumstances because of the quality of fast bowling in India.

  • pritpalpabla on March 6, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    India can use Ashwin as all rounder but I still feel he is far away from a leading spinner like kumble and Bhajji. He is gone defensive in the recent. I think we need to give Mishra more chances as when ever he play, he makes a strong impact but yet not able to win captain's confidence... Also as Bhajji playing strong in domestic circuit, he also can be used as a leading spinner... I still feels if given confidence, Bhajji is far more dangerous bowler than ashwin..

  • Dhanno on March 9, 2014, 23:38 GMT

    big_cheese and you may add helpful conditions + against AFG, a team who has probably played 10 games against test sides in whole of its existence and who are definition of "new to the scene". When he encounters SL/ PAK, far better at handling spin, he will go back to his defensive mindsett, bowl fast and straight and keep the RPO at 5.8 ! Thats the mantra of spin bowling.. In T20s its great bowling if Ashwin can keep RPO at 7, what a amazing bowler !. The author should follow up article when Ashwin gets back to his old ways in 6 months time.

  • RK.Chandru on March 9, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    Ashwin with 9 wickets @ 18.5 runs was way better in the Asia cup than Shami with same no. of wickets @ 25.5 runs who was gifting runs in plenty or Jadeja who had a tally of 7 wickets @ 22.5 runs. Yet, there are only brickbats and no accolades. With the unpredictable Afridi at the crease, anything is bound to happen and he clicked. That's it. Ill deserved comments from people like Thomas Cherian can only put players under enormous pressure. Do not defend any bowler who had managed a few wickets more or gave a few runs less on tours abroad. See the impact their bowling had on the ultimate outcome on the match. India yet lost and hence, you can never call Jaddu a match winner. In fact, we lost one of the matches because of Jaddu's immature, illogical aggressive innings in which he scored 20 odd quick runs when he had MSD at the other end of the crease and more than a day of the match still remaining. People and the media often turn a blind eye when it comes to poor performance of others.

  • on March 8, 2014, 6:01 GMT

    dont compare a bowler with old dated bowlers like kumble and bajji, that days and all gone...no body's willing to take single and rotate the strike..this is period of t20..if kumble bowls now surely he will give 60+ runs in odi...ashwin is far better bowler than these two I'm current situation..

  • gorafa on March 7, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @MaruthDelft can't agree more.......Gurdit singh also made a good point.....

  • on March 6, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    Karthik Do you work for the firm that manages Ashwin? You gotta be kidding me with an article like this. He is a poor bowler who is clinging to his seat thanks to CSK and people like you who write this kind of stuff. Ojha, Mishra anyone for abroad but Ashwin....

  • bhushanB on March 6, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    What back in business......he is just bowling in sub-continent conditions.. thats alll

  • Presynaras on March 6, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    One thing everyone seems to forget is that Leg spinners and Left arm off spinners take the ball away from the batsmen in a similar manner. So bowling Jaddu, Mishra, or Ojha, Mishra, or Ojha, Jaddu, will only make batsmen get adapted to the bowling very easily. As we saw Afghan batters handle better when Jaddu and Mishra bowled in tandem. That is why we need an off spinner. Right now Bhajji is struggling even in domestic and if we bring in him now to intl team, that would be a bad precedent. Only good performance can be rewarded and Bhajji is far from being a good bowler. Mishra, though spins more, is still not efficient as we saw Ashwin and Jaddu picking more wkts than Mishra did in the 2 matches he played. Rassool is still not good enough for Intl cricket and needs 2 seasons more of domestic. Ash is our best bowler, but someone needs to talk some sense into him and better his action. All we need is a good bowling coach. Ashwin is our prime bowler.

  • Bloodwrath on March 6, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    We can bash ashwin all we want, but the sad truth is we don't have a quality bowler other than him in power plays. Jadeja at best is a one trick pony,doesn't know /forgets how to bowl when he's attacked constantly. India simply doesn't have the pace bowling talent to accommodate the likes of Mishra who was by far the best indian spinner on the tournament.

  • MaruthuDelft on March 6, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    India's lead spinner should be Ojah. Since Jadeja has done well recently he must take the second spot. Mishra performed badly in England in 2011. He has been punished. Now he must be given the second chance. Ashwin has not been punished. He must be dropped in all formats. Let him take wickets and score runs in domestic cricket. Then offer him the No 6 position and the 4th spinner position with Dhoni batting at 5. @ Aumlan Guha is right. Only Kohli and Pujara are better than Ashwin as batsmen. But first he must first be dropped as punishment. And India should not play more than 2 fast bowlers in any circumstances because of the quality of fast bowling in India.

  • pritpalpabla on March 6, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    India can use Ashwin as all rounder but I still feel he is far away from a leading spinner like kumble and Bhajji. He is gone defensive in the recent. I think we need to give Mishra more chances as when ever he play, he makes a strong impact but yet not able to win captain's confidence... Also as Bhajji playing strong in domestic circuit, he also can be used as a leading spinner... I still feels if given confidence, Bhajji is far more dangerous bowler than ashwin..

  • on March 6, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    ashwin can't take wickets outside subcontinent,harbhajan is better choice for next years world cup because it would be played in australia and new zealand.ashwins carrom ball won't turn on those pitches and he can't bowl the topspinner which harbhajan bowls very well.india should go with harbhajan,jadeja and one of mishra or ojha for the world cup. ashwin should play only test cricket like nathan lyon and harbhajan should be used for limited overs cricket.

  • yoohoo on March 6, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    @ Arun Nayyar - Can you tell me how many wickets mishra took in england?

    43ov, 150runs, 3wkts in Birmingham, and 38ov, 170runs, 0wkts at the Oval.

    Please don't rate that ordinary spinner so highly. He is only good in T20s, and against weak teams.

  • JJJake on March 6, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    Ashwin bowled well. However i don't know how well he'll go in Australia in the four test series there later in the year. Bowlers like Mitch Johnson took 59 wickets @ 15.7 in the last 8 test and that's against teams that play pace well (ei England and SA). India need to find some good fast bowlers.

  • BrainsRam on March 6, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    Grow up Ashwin bashers... You are entitled to criticize him when he doesn't do well. But learn to recognize his worth when he does contribute. Criticizing him because you hate him or praising him because you like him is not on.

    Don't cast aspersions on players' selections just because you don't like certain players. If Vijay's state lobby was so powerful, he wouldn't have been dropped from ODIs and T20s to accomodate Rohit (who was failing repeatedly in spite of his colossal talent he is believed to possess) as an opener. In fact, he was constantly in & out of the team because of Gambhir/Sehwag & was hardly given a decent run in any form of the game.

    Assuming your version to be true, then Rohit's state & Gambhir/Sehwag/Harbhajan should've been very powerful (which I doubt) all these years as they were selected in spite of repeated failures. Let the selectors do their job Ultimately, if the player doesn't perform, he will be on his way out, sooner than later.

    Comment and have fun...

  • gorafa on March 6, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    ojha and mishra r best spinners available...why they r persisting with ashwin........

  • Rajeshj on March 6, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    @umangsagar and @Arjun: After watching the matches against SL and Pak, if you guys still think Ashwin is least talented, then you guys prefer not to accept anything that is said about him.. These were indeed helpful pitches and that's why Mishra appeared like a great spinner.. In the SA or NZ pitches, I don't think he would have fared any better than Ashwin.. Look the pitches where Ashwin played in SA and NZ were all high-scoring matches which offered nothing to spinners.. and no spinners have performed meritoriously in them.. even Ajmal.. in such a case, one has to understand that it was not his fault entirely for wicketless outings.. There was some help for spin in the Durban test and also the NZ tests and unfortunately he didn't play in them.. If he had failed there, I would have easily taken your argument that Ashwin is useless outside sub continent.. A spin bowler taking wickets against Pak and SL is not a joke, because they play it well than even Indians..

  • on March 6, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    The only reason Ashwin and Jadeja could pick up wickets was because of the pressure created by Amit Mishra. Admittedly Mishra was not as tight against Afghanistan as he was against Pakistan but that was probably because Afghan batsmen were either unknown or unorthodox in their approach. Third factor could be that Mishra put in more effort against Pakistan being his first opportunity after being on the bench for so long. It doesn't take too much intelligence to figure out that you need to attack to be able to win and to attack you need specialist bowlers. India's strategy of playing just 6 specialist batsmen has been wrong all along.

  • venky63 on March 6, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    it is bettter of have set of offspinner for team india , one who will play j test matches and otehr who will be nire sutablke for odis .t 20 format, prolong cricket ha sruined his nowling style , esp coming round the wicket to RIGHT HANDER

  • on March 6, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    When, if ever, will Ashwin's key strength be utilized? Why on earth do the selectors or the team management not realize that he is a far better batsman than most (barring Kohli & Pujara), certainly good enough to bat at 5 or 6 in Tests or even to open the batting? His bowling should be considered as an add-on, no more. There will be tournaments / series when he will do well, occasionally not so well. But it is as a top order / middle order batsman that he can contribute the most. Assess his batsmanship - including his technique, defence & strokeplay, if you do not believe me.

  • jimbond on March 6, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    This is precisely the problem. He uses the carrom ball and mystery balls against the lesser cricketing nations, but does not dare to use it against the regular test countries. It is surprising- the amount of support the average cricketers like Ashwin, Vijay and Karthik get- guess their state lobby should be very powerful.

  • on March 6, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    Again start praising Ashwin. Remember he took these wickets in Sub continent only. Not outside. He also given away 2 sixes to Afridi so that India gone out of the tournament. I am not against him, but he is not doing any better job. back to basic would be better option.

  • on March 6, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    this is ridiculous. he is probably the worst spinner in India. mishra and jadeja are much better

  • samresh..msd on March 6, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    ashwin is a worthy trier..but he lacks deception..to b honest even hafeez is a far better bowler than him.. its curious that both bhajji & ashwin hav becom ineffectiv..it just seems as if they r bowlin to contain the batsman.. bhajji was also like this from 2010 nd so he was axed.. ashwin started well but he has also resorted to bhajji's style of containment..also with the 5 fielder new rule,its very difficult for avg bowlers to survive..either u should have the guile & variety of a ajmal or the control of a jadeja..the margin of error for a spinner is minimum... i think ashwin has been given ample opportunities.. since champs trophy in june last year his not bowled well..so its time mishra gets a lenthy stretch of games to prove his worth.. mishra being a leg spinner is always a wicket taking option...ashwin should go to domestic cricket nd bowl lots of ovrs which will help him reinvent himself... his been playing non stop for the last 3years nd his faded over the course of time..

  • siddhartha87 on March 6, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    hilarious article to say the least .He failed against SAF and NZ.Even before that in the one dayers against Aussies he was lame. Now he takes wickets against Afghanistan and he is treated as a hero. I can clearly see his demolition in t20 wc. Nothing can save him from going 9 runs an over on average in wt20

  • AravindVatsal82 on March 6, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    World T20 is round the corner india should play a genuine & in form player mishra as specialist bowler,since he bowls at right pace which will make life difficult for fast paced t20 style of attacking compartively ashwin bowling speed does help batsmen a bit to clear the ground,which is clear to rest on th bench for t20 since last six months has been very less effective on the field 7 the time for mishra to replace him in the playing eleven.if srinivasan allows best 11 to play for the country.i think ashwin has taken his place for granted,& need some rest if they have to play for the country problem for me is it is not considered as proffesional rather just like the gully cricket no measure of the performance OR conistency in check.

  • ssenthil on March 6, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    How people badly doesn't know about cricket are bashing a player. Ashwin taken 4 wickets against BD and Afgan but 5 wickets against SL and Pak, still arm chair critics saying that he has taken wickets against only BD and Afgan. I wish people open their eye and know a thing or two before writing in public forums. India are out of Asia cup due to a bad bowling from Jadeja against Pak in a pitch were all spinners did well he went for 61 runs in his 10 overs without picking a single wicket. Had he had a decent spell out there, India would have easily won against Pak and would be playing against SL in the final. Give Credit where its due.

  • pull_shot on March 6, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    Here we go again he was utter utter failure in NZ & SAF but taken wickets on helping tracks that too against afg,bd we read article, indian players r media hyped players

  • ultimatewarrior on March 6, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    WOW! Gr8! Awesome! I know it, what he was capable of! Surely he will also have a great IPL season to come......After that lets give him another year of uninterrupted run......Till a tough tour will come again and again he will forget to take wicket and again comes back in Asia (That too against weak opponents or equivalent scenario)....Again he will get things right....Again...N Times..."Please Don't Worry" Ashwin - we all fans are very happy and wish you best....

  • on March 6, 2014, 5:44 GMT

    How much ever attacking Ashwin becomes, so long as his stock ball does not turn on hard pitches, his variations are rendered impotent.. On less helpful pitches, wrist spinners are more effective because of the revolutions they impart on the ball.. I can't believe Ashwin actually played this long and has picked over a hundred wickets in both forms of the game.. On the basis of his bowling alone, he cannot be picked in any Indian team.. Same with Jadeja.. But Jadeja takes the ball away from the right hand batsman.. Ajantha Mendis is an absolutely wonderful bowler in Asia, but outside he will not be picked in the 11.. Mishra is the way forward.. He has another good 4-5 years left in him.. Even for tests.. But for him to be effective other end needs to be tight.. Shami leaks, Bhuvi leaks, Aaron leaks.. Pacemen need to tighten up.. But we can build a bowling unit around Mishra.. Should have done years ago..

  • hi5ashwin on March 6, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    With regards to his change in actions, the following are my observations: For some unknown reasons he changed his stock action in the first ODI against Bangladesh. In the second match when he came to bowl he saw he was bowling against Thirumane who happens to get often out against Ashwin. So he went back to his stock action. The interesting period was once he picked Thirumane; Will he return to his new action or will he continue? He continued with his stock action and most importantly stock self. This happened to be the moment of turnaround for Ashwin in my opinion. Meanwhile, knowing Ashwin well, I can safely say that, being a cricketer who emerged from the streets, he can bowl any action. It was him mental makeup in my opinion which was so important. Hoping to see him continuing the turnaround.

  • on March 6, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    @AdnanSiddiqui,A player of afridi's vigour need not watch the ball to clear such a short boundaries and that against spinners.On his day,he won't care whether sunil narine or dale steyn is bowling to him.

    Well ,talking about Ashwin,he should be made the test captain instantly.He is a thinking guy who can bat,bowl and field well and can be a good leader.

  • ssenthil on March 6, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    I think the change was only in the captaincy. Even in those helpful conditions under MSD, he wouldn't have picked those 9 wickets and leave aside those cheap 4 wickets against Afgan and BD, he still took 5 in 20 overs against SL and Pak, who are good player of spin. I think MS Dhoni is the main reason we are losing the attacking bowlers and I believe MS Dhoni is the main reason why H Singh went defensive and never able to comeback from that. Get rid of MSD and we see Indian bowlers attacking as well.

  • on March 6, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    he is playing in asia where the wickets take spin thats why he is bowling carrom ball

  • umangsagar on March 6, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    For someone who has been mediocre for so many months, comes back to sub continent pitches, gets hammered all over the park by Bangladesh, was so ineffective in the next 2 matches...picks 3 against Afghanistan and hence is considered back to his attacking best...a classic example of a mockery that Indian team selection, performance and accountability has become...i doubt any spinner ( i really mean any even if unknown) if allowed to play for six months would turn up as pathetic as ashwin has been in the last 7-8 months...leave aside class acts like Ojha..in one dayers not having an attacking leg spinner in mishra is again baffling...stats will show you, leg spinners are not best at saving runs, but invariably pic wickets.

  • gannyboy on March 6, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    The success of Ashwin in this tournament should be credited to Kohli. He used Ashwin well and more importantly he didn't use Ashwin as a bowler to restrict flow of runs. But I still feel from here on India should play Mishra in the playing eleven instead of Ashwin. Mishra could play a major role in the world-cup, with the long boundries in Australia Mishra would just be that much more menacing.

  • on March 6, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    he should bowl his carrom ball on and around the off stump.instead he becomes way too predictable by bowling it around the leg stump and hitting the off stump....its amazing that nobody has bothered to say this simple thing to him

  • satchander on March 6, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    Subcontinental pitches and so Ashwin is feeling more comfortable and taking wickets. I am not really surprised by this. I always have felt that Ashwin is good for home pitches but my concern is only when India travel to SA/NZ/Aus and Eng when bowlers like Ashwin and Bhajji (post 2010) failed misearably. Jadeja is also not an answer to this problem as he is more of a restrictive bowler. But Dhoni will not try any other spinner so developing a spinner for overseas condition will probably never happen !

  • on March 5, 2014, 23:25 GMT

    Ashwin has always looked a better bowler Even when he trys to bowls Different Deliveries. I like him to bowl in Diff Paces lik 8oKmph to 100kmph. By that he can Delivery some straight Deliveries(No spin)

    Come Good ASHWIN. What ever u try we loves U ashwin.

  • on March 5, 2014, 23:18 GMT

    After all the advice to differentiate himself from mystery spinner Mendis, Ashwin observed Mendis' success in this tournament and took a leaf out of his repertoire. For some reason orthodox off-spinning is good for reputation and mystery spinning seen as for show ponies. But the only thing that counts is results. Hopefully Ashwin will acknowledge Mendis' influence in his success in the future.

  • on March 5, 2014, 22:45 GMT

    Ashwin really needs to improve on many fronts. He needs to be effective on tracks that are not spin friendly. Every offspinner worth his salt can now bowl the doosra in world cricket now. He needs to be able to pick up wickets rather than trying to contain. I hope Amit Mishra is picked over Ashwin.

  • on March 5, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    Ashwin and Jadeja are needed to India for long time as all rounders. Playing under pressure recently gives negative result from them. Let them play who they are.

  • on March 5, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    I think i need to try to enrich his stock deliveries and work on basics n dnt try any extra...becaz indian team always saw ashwin as a wicket taking blower not a defensive one

  • AdnanSiddiqui on March 5, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    The same Carom balls were dispatched for sixes by Afridi to seal the game for Pakistan ... It was so predictable that a batsman like Afirid (who doesn't usually think while batting) knew whats coming :) ...

  • sk123 on March 5, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    He's still half the bowler that he needs to be. You can't be playing for a national team if you can take wickets only in type of conditions. I've seen bowlers in local leagues with better control over line and length than some of these national stars. Also, the spinners are forgetting the art of using flight. When a batsman is not attacking, it's better to give him less time because all a bowler has to do is beat the defence. On the contrary, when a batsman is attacking, it's better to slow it down a bit, because it's more important to slow his swing down. A faster ball to a swinging batsman only helps the timing and the balls goes over line just as fast. Some of these spinners should talk to Warne maybe.

  • Nampally on March 5, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    On sub continent pitches, 3 spinners is a better option than 3 seamers. That is just common sense. Kohli lacking in experience missed it totally wasting this spot with Aaron & Binny. By the time Kohlicame to his senses India was nearly eliminated from the Asia Cup. What is Fletcher there for if he cannot provide guidance. Mishra needed to play regularly or get Ojha as alternate. ASs for Ashwin, he needs to focus on half stump line not leg stump. He needs to focus on accuracy in length & direction first, whatever ball he bowls. It is as simple as that. But the biggest folly of Kohli has been benching Pujara which cost India the Asia cup. India missed at least 50 more runs to their total via Pujara. Pujara is a cut above the rest of the batting + Mr. Reliable. It is simple fool hardiness to exclude Pujara from XI. On BD pitches India need 300+ score to win. Without Pujara it is an "Iffy" total! Indian Selectors need to mandate Pujara spot in the XI- ignoring Dhoni or Kohli's grudges!

  • here2rock on March 5, 2014, 19:20 GMT

    Taking wickets against Bangladesh and Afghanistan don't really count so much, it is how you stand up against the big boys in alien conditions which matters. He just does not turn the ball enough, full stop. Mishra has shown more control and variety to be the number 1 choice in the team. Ashwin has been given countless chances.

  • on March 5, 2014, 19:16 GMT

    Indian spinners are excellent in this series. Bad luck that couldn't make it to the final.

  • big_cheese on March 5, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    That's apt Karthik, 'you can still hope'. Unfortunately, we are talking about a player who played around 80 ODIs and still we are 'hoping' that he would learn and improve. (Make no mistake about it, even before retirement SRT was learning. The day you stop learning, you are dead. But, we are talking about repeat of mistakes)

    No question, he looks a better bowler when bowling in helpful conditions. Everybody knows that, they why pick him ahead of other spinners when touring overseas? Look at this guy Amit, he's been in and out for quite some time and his place still isn't guaranteed.

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  • big_cheese on March 5, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    That's apt Karthik, 'you can still hope'. Unfortunately, we are talking about a player who played around 80 ODIs and still we are 'hoping' that he would learn and improve. (Make no mistake about it, even before retirement SRT was learning. The day you stop learning, you are dead. But, we are talking about repeat of mistakes)

    No question, he looks a better bowler when bowling in helpful conditions. Everybody knows that, they why pick him ahead of other spinners when touring overseas? Look at this guy Amit, he's been in and out for quite some time and his place still isn't guaranteed.

  • on March 5, 2014, 19:16 GMT

    Indian spinners are excellent in this series. Bad luck that couldn't make it to the final.

  • here2rock on March 5, 2014, 19:20 GMT

    Taking wickets against Bangladesh and Afghanistan don't really count so much, it is how you stand up against the big boys in alien conditions which matters. He just does not turn the ball enough, full stop. Mishra has shown more control and variety to be the number 1 choice in the team. Ashwin has been given countless chances.

  • Nampally on March 5, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    On sub continent pitches, 3 spinners is a better option than 3 seamers. That is just common sense. Kohli lacking in experience missed it totally wasting this spot with Aaron & Binny. By the time Kohlicame to his senses India was nearly eliminated from the Asia Cup. What is Fletcher there for if he cannot provide guidance. Mishra needed to play regularly or get Ojha as alternate. ASs for Ashwin, he needs to focus on half stump line not leg stump. He needs to focus on accuracy in length & direction first, whatever ball he bowls. It is as simple as that. But the biggest folly of Kohli has been benching Pujara which cost India the Asia cup. India missed at least 50 more runs to their total via Pujara. Pujara is a cut above the rest of the batting + Mr. Reliable. It is simple fool hardiness to exclude Pujara from XI. On BD pitches India need 300+ score to win. Without Pujara it is an "Iffy" total! Indian Selectors need to mandate Pujara spot in the XI- ignoring Dhoni or Kohli's grudges!

  • sk123 on March 5, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    He's still half the bowler that he needs to be. You can't be playing for a national team if you can take wickets only in type of conditions. I've seen bowlers in local leagues with better control over line and length than some of these national stars. Also, the spinners are forgetting the art of using flight. When a batsman is not attacking, it's better to give him less time because all a bowler has to do is beat the defence. On the contrary, when a batsman is attacking, it's better to slow it down a bit, because it's more important to slow his swing down. A faster ball to a swinging batsman only helps the timing and the balls goes over line just as fast. Some of these spinners should talk to Warne maybe.

  • AdnanSiddiqui on March 5, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    The same Carom balls were dispatched for sixes by Afridi to seal the game for Pakistan ... It was so predictable that a batsman like Afirid (who doesn't usually think while batting) knew whats coming :) ...

  • on March 5, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    I think i need to try to enrich his stock deliveries and work on basics n dnt try any extra...becaz indian team always saw ashwin as a wicket taking blower not a defensive one

  • on March 5, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    Ashwin and Jadeja are needed to India for long time as all rounders. Playing under pressure recently gives negative result from them. Let them play who they are.

  • on March 5, 2014, 22:45 GMT

    Ashwin really needs to improve on many fronts. He needs to be effective on tracks that are not spin friendly. Every offspinner worth his salt can now bowl the doosra in world cricket now. He needs to be able to pick up wickets rather than trying to contain. I hope Amit Mishra is picked over Ashwin.

  • on March 5, 2014, 23:18 GMT

    After all the advice to differentiate himself from mystery spinner Mendis, Ashwin observed Mendis' success in this tournament and took a leaf out of his repertoire. For some reason orthodox off-spinning is good for reputation and mystery spinning seen as for show ponies. But the only thing that counts is results. Hopefully Ashwin will acknowledge Mendis' influence in his success in the future.