India cricket

Ashwin defends different action

Abhishek Purohit

March 29, 2014

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

R Ashwin is congratulated after dismissing Lahiru Thirimanne, India v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Fatullah, February 28, 2014
R Ashwin has said he might attempt a different action during the remaining matches of the World T20 © AFP
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Players/Officials: Ravichandran Ashwin
Series/Tournaments: World T20
Teams: India

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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).

Posted by 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

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by zavahir on (March 30, 2014, 18:57 GMT)

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

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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!

Posted by   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.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 16:22 GMT)

@wapuser Murali and Malinga aren't genuine bowlers? Yeah, just keep thinking that. How would explain why a non-genuine bowler could be the unreachable leading wickettaker in two formats? Or how a non-genuine bowler could takw three hattricks including a four in four? Yeah, they definitely are far from genuine (note the sarcasm, someone)

Posted by STRIKETHUNDER on (March 30, 2014, 13:33 GMT)

Ashwin is enjoying his favourable period. But it goes to show the poor standard of spinners in INDIA that a guy like Ashwin gets to play this long at this level.

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (March 30, 2014, 12:31 GMT)

One only hopes Ashwin doesn't lost his original action in experimenting with the new-fangled action. The experience of Maninder Singh should serve as a word fo caution to him.

Posted by switchmitch on (March 30, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

Ashwin needs to concentrate on the basics before trying to emulate Narine and others. Narine bowls superb lines and lengths, which makes his variations even more dangerous. the batsmen are often left guessing and since they have to go after him because of the short format, they end up making mistakes. Ashwin on the other hand does not maintain a consistent line and length. He experiments too much with it. Ashwin also bases his attack outside the off stump. When he bowls to the stumps, it is invariably the carrom ball or the doosra and the batsmen are aware of it. Narine on the other hand attacks the stumps every ball, which makes his variations very dangerous. Most importantly, Ashwin needs to use flight and SPIN, much more than he is doing now. These subtle changes can make him really effective, with the variations that he undeniably has....

Posted by stormy16 on (March 30, 2014, 8:37 GMT)

I reckon Ashwin is a great example of a bowler not stagnating. When he came in he was a great off spinner but has continually added new strings to his bow to continue to be competitive. A classic example of this is SL's Mendis who came in with a bang but after the batters worked him out he didnt really add anything new and eventually lost his place. Ashwin has even tried the traditional leg spinner and good luck to him.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 5:55 GMT)

@sir_Francis. Ashwin an outstanding bowler, please dont disrespect the legends of spin bowlers by calling him outstanding. He is an avg bowler who only bowls and bats good in India. Out of 104 wickets that you are talking about, 95 of them he has taken in India and outside he has just managed 9 wickets with an avg of over 74.. and batting, he has just one half century away and even a donkey can bat of flat indian pitches.. Saqlain mushtaq 3 matches 24 wickets in India.. Murli, warne and other spinners have done well in India...

So before judging a player, please check the details of records

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 5:21 GMT)

Indian coaches et al should allow bowlers with strange actions or different approach to be their natural self. See the benefit of Muali, Malinga, Paul Adams, Hogg, Tanvir...and many more. Classical is great but not at the cost of something unique or different. Same with batting too. Ganguly was open and India did well. Coaches should advice but not force or change a young cricketer unless there is a problem. Age old mentality of accepting only the "classical" should go. For example, if a player plays off the backfoot, then that is changed. If a leftarm spinner bowls chinamen, it is not allowed to blossom.

Posted by yogesh.gg on (March 30, 2014, 5:17 GMT)

@Muru : t20 is a very new trade so there are no benchmarks to make comparison in first place. Even in ODI , this is not out of box stuff. We need a genuine spin bowler and not a batsman with average and artificial spin bowling skills. Amit Mishra has outperformed Ashwin and whatever chances he got. Ashwin keeps getting outperformed by likes Jadeja and Mishra. I don't think he is India's best spinner. He may be good enough for t20 and ODI but India deserves better at test level. His overseas records speaks volumes , his success against WI and weak NZ masks his incompetency when we look at his overall stats.

Posted by yuvi_gladiator on (March 30, 2014, 4:19 GMT)

nothing wrong with the way he approaches the game and want to keep learning. he is a very good one day bowler and will be very successful in odi cricket. he should always be played at home, but he does not have quite broken the trick to be effective on away wickets.. i hope he makes the adjustment

Posted by Nampally on (March 30, 2014, 0:33 GMT)

For Ashwin's Info. what he is doing is nothing NEW! In 1950 tour of England by the WI team. the spin Duo of Ramadhin & Valentine sent England crashing with 3-1 Test series win. The WI Off Spinner, Sonny Ramadhin emerged as the "Mystery" Bowler baffling all the England batsmen. He bowled with full sleeve shirt & bowled the very same mystery ball Called "Carrom Ball" to baffle the England batsmen. It worked in relatively less clear English lighting. Yet when the WI came to India, Ramadhin mystified NONE. In 1950 the WI team was superb. What Ashwin is doing now is an "Old trick" which already failed in the Indian conditions. Ashwin is better advised to focus on acquiring Ramadhin's fine accuracy which also helped him greatly in making his "Carrom or Mystery ball" magical. Both Ramadhin & Valentine were around 19 years old then. India had such a combo with Ashwin & Ojha in some Tests. Jadeja does not spin the ball like Valentine did but Ojha does. Use Carrom ball a surprise ball!

Posted by Karthic2228 on (March 30, 2014, 0:33 GMT)

Seriously this guy needs a better treatment if dhoni is not behind the stumps to guide him the situation am sure this guy wud not be doing wat he was doing in Newzeland test series...

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 23:41 GMT)

Only he can try today match not in semi final. I don't think Mishra can bowl well out of sub continent or test matches...so Ashwin and Jadeja need work to hard for success in abroad. As a left arm off spin Ohja must be included in all up coming test matches.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 22:50 GMT)

I think its great that Ashwin's constantly thinking about his bowling and trying to improve all the time. It is a bit like how Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid would think about their batting. The other day I read an article about Sachin changing his trigger movement when facing Shoib Akhthar who was bowling real quick. I think Ashwin's doing the same, trying different actions, release points etc. Now, Ashwin may not be as gifted or original as some of Cricket's best off-spinners but he certainly cannot be accused of not trying or learning.

Posted by Sir_Francis on (March 29, 2014, 22:49 GMT)

What an odd comment by someone above. Ashwin has played 19 tests, has 104 wickets at 28.50

As far as off spinners go that's outstanding. His ave. & s/r are better than Swann's.

He'd make most test XIs today.

AND he averages almost 40 with the bat.

His record is even better than Vettori.

Amazing he's not considered a great cricketer. he'd walk into the Australian team.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 21:43 GMT)

Why you guys not accepting Aswin performances?. Which Indian off spinner come and bowled first over in t20 and 50 over game for India?.

Is Harbhajan better batsman than ASWIN?. Aswin better test batsman than Jadeja. See aswin bowling performances in this T20 world cup. Dont compare aswin with amith mishra. aswin bowling most of time in power play overs. You can not compare amith mishra batting with asiwn...

Posted by Karthic2228 on (March 29, 2014, 18:22 GMT)

it is quite funny how we people used to comment on bhajji who was was out of form for 2 years when this guy (ashwin) started his carrier and we all wanted bhajji to leave and let ashwin be picked ahead of him... but to be honest ashwin is a bowler who still needs to be tested in Indian domestic and try to learn a n orthodox offspin. And bhajji is a person who certainly cannot be bishen sigh bedi but he can be bench mark for the future spinners of indian cricket like anil kumble. Ashwin rather than speaking a lot it is time for u to experiment an offspin (not in harshway as a True Indian Cricket Fan)

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 15:40 GMT)

There isn't any originality in the way he bowls and that's one very important reason he'll never be amongst the greats of off-spin bowling. He makes international cricket look like roadside gully-cricket.

Posted by applethief on (March 29, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

Not very smart comments by Ashwin. But I don't think we could expect anything else from him

Comments have now been closed for this article

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