India cricket March 29, 2014

Ashwin defends different action

Offspinners' actions, especially while bowling the doosra, have been under constant scrutiny, and it has become a common practice over the last few years for bowlers to bowl with long sleeves that cover their elbows. R Ashwin, who prefers the flicked carrom ball to the doosra, had regularly bowled in half sleeves until he opted for the more popular approach during the Asia Cup in Bangladesh earlier this month.

Ahead of India's last league match in World T20, against Australia, Ashwin defended his action as an experiment, saying he did not want to "lag behind" bowlers who derived more advantage from long sleeves that allowed them to use their elbows a little more.

"I want to do something different. I want to keep trying something - unless you try you don't go and venture and find out what can work or not," Ashwin said. "I'd never bowled in full-sleeves before [the Asia Cup]. So I wanted to see how it would feel. And I just wanted to see if you can get more revs on the ball, if you can do a little bit with your elbow, as much as [is allowed], that is. 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?"

In the Asia Cup, Ashwin had experimented with a vastly different action, similar to Sunil Narine's, and had also bowled with longer sleeves. He was seen practising the different release during training in Wellington during India's recent tour to New Zealand. While he has not tried either the different action or long sleeves during the World T20 so far, Ashwin said it was something he has not ruled out attempting again.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo