India cricket March 29, 2014

Ashwin defends different action

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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • la.bestia on April 1, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    By reading many comments here i fancy that many Indian fans try to keep the Ashwin as one of the best bowlers in the cricket . No doughty the man have the talent. But please do not tell that you are on the top of the ladder since still you are at the very first step & honestly a very few spin bowlers have tried to go up through the ladder but fall on the middle & no where to be found . As I remember in the past tried to compare Harbajan to Murali . But see where are both today. Murali has gone through the ladder & become probably the greatest off-spin bowler ever and we all know where Harbajan is today. Still when we spoke of spin legends we spoke abt Warne for leg-spin and Murali for off-spin. In today i can see that caliber is with Saeed ajmal. So please note that is is always not the world best since it is a product of India.Others also have palyers of class and need to repect them for giving as such an entertaining events of cricket.

  • dummy4fb on April 1, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    ashwin is india's best. agreed. ashwin is no where near world's best. just cloz someone is india's best doesnt make him world's best. yes ashwin takes alots of wickets for india(just coz there is no one else to take wickets) and ashwin opens bowling, bowl in power play, bowl towards the end(once again the indian captain doesnt have too many options).

  • 12zhaib on March 31, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    comparing Ashwin & Saeed Ajmal is just same like comparing Virat & Omer Akmal both have talent but Virat is some one who performed consistently i hope many indian would agreed me that Saeed ajmal have class while ashwin need to learn more ..i like to add one more thing its not about sleeve all the time if you guys have forgot Saqlain Mushtaq the inventor of doosra dont like to wear sleeve . Ajmal is the World Best BOwler and we should respect

  • android_user on March 31, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    How fair is this. wonder what people would say if Murali did this while he was playing. lot of Indian n Aussie cry babies won't like it for sure.

  • Vajra1x on March 31, 2014, 0:08 GMT

    Good. You guys can do all the trash talk you want while he keeps taking wickets. The way you guys talk makes it look some people are born bowling doosras. At this rate, you guys aren't good enough to be arm chair critics. Go Ashvin. Go India.

  • zavahir on March 30, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    Why not make it a rule - no long sleeves for bowlers !!!

  • TRAM on March 30, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    The 15 degree rule is an unsporting rule. When bowlers bowl less than 85 kmph, you have lot of time to play the delivery, no sportive batsman would complain of the bowling action. The rule was enforced at a time of competition between Aussie Warne and Asian Murali. Administrators mostly dominated by Aussies (the unsporting they were) at that time used these to counter Murali. This rule should be removed for bowlers bowling less than 85 kmph.

  • golgoal on March 30, 2014, 18:33 GMT

    @Salah Al Khattab Have you heard the quote "There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics". You can make numbers look like anything depending on what numbers you quote. Ashwin is currently the only spin bowler in the world that can open the bowling, bowl in power plays as well as in final overs. Just go and watch Champions trophy final match against Eng when Ashwin helped defend a paltry score with Eng having 6 wickets or so in hand, and helped India win the cup. Contrast this with Ajmal who got hammered by WI tail enders when Pak toured WI and ended up losing the game and the trophy for Pak. Bottomline is Ashwin performs when it really matters. Already 2 MoM awards in this WC. How many are Ajmal, Narine etc. going to get you think? ZERO I bet.

  • Nampally on March 30, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    I saw neither a sleeved shirt or change in Ashwin's bowling action in the match against the Aussies where he took 4 for 11 in 3.2 overs to claim the MOM! Ashwin just focus on what you are bowling accurately. Wickets will come through your performance on field. Ashwin's bowling was great against the Aussies especially when he got Maxwell bowled - Paddle sweeping! Indian spinners showed once more that accurate spinners can win the day even against Slog Kings!

  • dummy4fb on March 30, 2014, 17:30 GMT

    Once he goes away from subcontinent , he will reveal his true self. He is just an average limited overs bowler. We need genuine spinners for test level. We fans tend to forget his miserable performances once he starts doing well in subcontinent.

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