Chennai Super Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2013, Chennai April 25, 2013

Ashwin the legspinner, and Steyn's spot

Plays of the day from the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai
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The variation
R Ashwin is a versatile spinner as his stats will tell you, but he took that versatility one step further by landing googlies pretty well. It must have taken long hours of practice to perfect, and now imagine facing it as a batsman. You are watching the hand, looking to identify the offbreak, the topspinner and the carrom ball, and suddenly he is bowling a wristspinner. The first thing you would expect is a legbreak, and then he bowls a googly with not much change in action, and he lands it full on off. And he also bowls the legbreak at times.

The decision
Indian umpires in the IPL, barring the odd exception, continue to show why India don't have one on the ICC elite panel. It was Subrat Das' turn today. At the start of the fourth over of the match, Shikhar Dhawan tried to hook Jason Holder and got a meaty top edge, which carried almost all the way for a six, but Das called it leg byes. "Get the glasses off," said Ian Bishop on air.

The move
At the fall off the third wicket, Sunrisers Hyderabad pulled off a surprise by sending out Amit Mishra. A surprise Chennai Super Kings didn't mind at all. Mishra couldn't pinch-hit, he couldn't work singles, he couldn't get out. Precious deliveries went waste as the Super Kings bowlers gleefully went through those middle overs. Despite a top-edged four, Mishra ended up with 15 off 21. That's 17.5% of the whole innings.

The spot
You see batsmen pulling out of deliveries when they spot something between the bowler and the sightscreen. Charging into bowl for the first time today, Dale Steyn aborted the delivery because the spider cam was in his sight, although behind the batsman. Perhaps he didn't want to damage it with the crazy bouncer he had in mind.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 26, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    @TheCupid: There is a big difference between Ashwin's regular offbreak and his wrist-spin googly. While you are correct, they both spin toward the same direction, the release from the hand is completely different. The regular offbreak is released as a regular finger spin ball. The wrist spin googly is bowled with a wrist spin action (looking like a leg break), but comes out the back of the hand and spins like an offbreak (a googly). So whether Ashwin releases the ball with finger spin or wrist spin, the ball may turn in either direction or head straight on! Finger spin variations: offbreak, topspinner, carrom ball. Wrist spin variations: leg break, topspinner, googly. Plus pace variation etc. Great bowler.

  • androyuvi on April 25, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    I envy Ashwin, but at the same time, I am proud that India has a 'versatile' spinner of our own, who also excels well in all three formates of the game. With the promise he shows in test matches, and the economical spells in shorter formats will make him a great if he keeps succeeding time and again. Hope he does well. And about that google, i was literally shocked while seeing that. He perfected well i would say. Kudos Ashwin.

  • couchpundit on April 26, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    @Thyagu5432 - what do you mean these days bowlers (pace) bowl off breaks.....do you know indian bowlers called madan lal, venkatesh prasad? They werebowling off spins(not off cutters...as thereconsistent pace was pretty slow for medium pacers)....apart from that i have to agree with your comments

  • Thyagu5432 on April 26, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    While it sounds awesome that a bowler can bowl so many varieties but, I think a spinner has to be a leg or off. These days pace bowlers bowl slow off spinners once in a while that doesn't make them off spinners. An off spinner can bowl the classic off spin (spinning off to leg stump) or the doosra (going the other way) or the equivalent of top spinner which doesn't spin but hurries on and bounces a little extra. All these happen without any change in the bowling action. Ditto for leg spinners with the classic leg spin, googly, flipper etc., without much change in bowling action.

    The moment an off spinner tries to tread on to the leg spinners territory, there is every chance that your action will give it away. Ashwin has been having that problem already with the carrom ball. His line gives it away whereas Saeed Ajmal's Doosra is difficult to read because the line is the same as his off spin.

    I hope Ashwin learns to bowl the perfect Doosra and he can be deadly.

  • Naresh28 on April 26, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    @vish20 - Karan Sharma the unnoticed bowler eats away overs. Ya I read a mention of him in an article yesterday before the game. Indians generally do well in the spin department. The only department where we are weak is pace.

  • on April 26, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Ashish Reddy should never have bowled the last over. I am not saying that CSK would not have won, but atleast the Sunrisers might have had a chance if they had stuck to Sammy

  • ranjanchai on April 26, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    last over may bowled by sammy...expereenced ...keepe standing up

  • visht20 on April 26, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Karan Sharma bowled such a beautiful over for a maiden in the death overs and gave just 8 runs of his 4 overs. There is no mention of the lad here. Such a shame...!

  • bouncer22 on April 26, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Surprised to see a Young Leg Spinner's bowling a Maiden (16th over of the innings at that..) NOT being mentioned in the Plays of the day..!! if SRH won, he would have been my MoM... such good was his performance y'day.

  • on April 26, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    In test matches , one cannot try too many variations . T20 is the ideal platform for a bowler to try out all his variations . In this respect , it is great to see Ashwin come out with all his variations and it shows the amount of hard work put in by him to do these experiment in matches and not in nets alone . Ashwin is underrated by all but within the next 2 years , he will join the 200 test wicket takers list and be recognised as one of the best spinners produced by India . He can only improve if he interacts more with spinners like Prasanna and Venkat . I wish Ashwin all the best . Keep going Ash .

  • on April 26, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    @TheCupid: There is a big difference between Ashwin's regular offbreak and his wrist-spin googly. While you are correct, they both spin toward the same direction, the release from the hand is completely different. The regular offbreak is released as a regular finger spin ball. The wrist spin googly is bowled with a wrist spin action (looking like a leg break), but comes out the back of the hand and spins like an offbreak (a googly). So whether Ashwin releases the ball with finger spin or wrist spin, the ball may turn in either direction or head straight on! Finger spin variations: offbreak, topspinner, carrom ball. Wrist spin variations: leg break, topspinner, googly. Plus pace variation etc. Great bowler.

  • androyuvi on April 25, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    I envy Ashwin, but at the same time, I am proud that India has a 'versatile' spinner of our own, who also excels well in all three formates of the game. With the promise he shows in test matches, and the economical spells in shorter formats will make him a great if he keeps succeeding time and again. Hope he does well. And about that google, i was literally shocked while seeing that. He perfected well i would say. Kudos Ashwin.

  • couchpundit on April 26, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    @Thyagu5432 - what do you mean these days bowlers (pace) bowl off breaks.....do you know indian bowlers called madan lal, venkatesh prasad? They werebowling off spins(not off cutters...as thereconsistent pace was pretty slow for medium pacers)....apart from that i have to agree with your comments

  • Thyagu5432 on April 26, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    While it sounds awesome that a bowler can bowl so many varieties but, I think a spinner has to be a leg or off. These days pace bowlers bowl slow off spinners once in a while that doesn't make them off spinners. An off spinner can bowl the classic off spin (spinning off to leg stump) or the doosra (going the other way) or the equivalent of top spinner which doesn't spin but hurries on and bounces a little extra. All these happen without any change in the bowling action. Ditto for leg spinners with the classic leg spin, googly, flipper etc., without much change in bowling action.

    The moment an off spinner tries to tread on to the leg spinners territory, there is every chance that your action will give it away. Ashwin has been having that problem already with the carrom ball. His line gives it away whereas Saeed Ajmal's Doosra is difficult to read because the line is the same as his off spin.

    I hope Ashwin learns to bowl the perfect Doosra and he can be deadly.

  • Naresh28 on April 26, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    @vish20 - Karan Sharma the unnoticed bowler eats away overs. Ya I read a mention of him in an article yesterday before the game. Indians generally do well in the spin department. The only department where we are weak is pace.

  • on April 26, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Ashish Reddy should never have bowled the last over. I am not saying that CSK would not have won, but atleast the Sunrisers might have had a chance if they had stuck to Sammy

  • ranjanchai on April 26, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    last over may bowled by sammy...expereenced ...keepe standing up

  • visht20 on April 26, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Karan Sharma bowled such a beautiful over for a maiden in the death overs and gave just 8 runs of his 4 overs. There is no mention of the lad here. Such a shame...!

  • bouncer22 on April 26, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Surprised to see a Young Leg Spinner's bowling a Maiden (16th over of the innings at that..) NOT being mentioned in the Plays of the day..!! if SRH won, he would have been my MoM... such good was his performance y'day.

  • on April 26, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    In test matches , one cannot try too many variations . T20 is the ideal platform for a bowler to try out all his variations . In this respect , it is great to see Ashwin come out with all his variations and it shows the amount of hard work put in by him to do these experiment in matches and not in nets alone . Ashwin is underrated by all but within the next 2 years , he will join the 200 test wicket takers list and be recognised as one of the best spinners produced by India . He can only improve if he interacts more with spinners like Prasanna and Venkat . I wish Ashwin all the best . Keep going Ash .

  • iamgroot on April 26, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    Absolutely thrilling finish.. What a game.. i was watching the scores.. it was 67 from 45 and 62 from 42.. then it came down to 50 something in 38 balls. and then 29 of 14.. Sunrisers had the opportunity to cover their blunders all throughout the match .. but they couldnt and kept making more blunders thanks to white.. Dhoni..Best Captain , Best man to have . whether anyone agrees or disagrees.. world is watching and everyone including legend like Viv richards has spoken highly about Dhoni.. When Dhoni came to the crease the difference between balls and runs was 40 ..but in the last 5 overs game was just grabbed from SRH. Dhoni smashed Dale steyn the best bowler in the game for two sixes.. dont necessarily hav to be big.. two consecutive sixes..wow.. Dale steyn had no answer.. Wow what a man Dhoni is ..and over confidence from SRH team to give Ashish Reddy the last over.. it is like a lamb getting ready to get slaughtered. Steyn experienced it , but no white didnt learn..poor SRH

  • on April 26, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Gambhir is a great test for any spin bowler. So Sunday's game will be interesting. If Gambhir lasts till Ashwin comes on...

  • TRAM on April 26, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    Ashwin, I wish you all the best all the time. I have also written in the past that you should try more variations. Of course unless you take wickets consistently using those variations it wont get its respect or recognition. Hard work will pay you back, so no worries.

  • Siva_Bala75 on April 26, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    I am happy that Ashwin is trying all these in IPL. I am sure he will make a few mistakes (the last ball that he bowled to Dhawan was hit for a easy 4), learn from them and improve. IPL is a great platform or a lab for people to try out what they want to.

  • on April 25, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    @TheCupid: They both are similar deliveries but there is a major difference. You wont play a ball simply after it pitched, you watch it from the hands of the Bowler thats the difference. Since Ashwin has Carrom ball,Off Break, Doosra now he added a leggie and a googly. You have to pick it from his hand. Since he is an offie when he copies leggie action you expect a leg spin but if its a googly you are totally blindfolded

  • on April 25, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    @TheCupid : The difference between an Offbreak and googly is the action. At international level, batsmen are used watch the bowling hand of the bowler to get some idea of the incoming delivery. As Ashwin is an Off-spinner, seeing him bowling with a wrist spin action is a shock in itself. And even if the batsman manages to overcome the shock of the new action, he expects its to go away after pitching (assuming a right handed batsman), but being a googly, the ball spins back in. So its kinda double (may be triple) bluff, which if executed propely, can create many doubts.

  • on April 25, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    @TheCupid the difference is when he bowls a goggly, his arm action is that of a leg spinners' not his regular off spinners' action. so the batsmen when expecting a leg break gets an off break

  • spitbombs on April 25, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    Even Ashwin was talking about this, when he was live during the match..his different deliveries..his new variations...can't wait to see what he has in store for future games...

  • on April 25, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    The Cupid - Ashwin's stock ball off spinner is a finger spun delivery. The googly is a wrist spun delivery. When you are a batsman watching the bowler deliver this, there is a big difference. The point here is that - if he pulls that out of a hat just one delivery and goes back to normal after that - there is no chance that you are predicting a googly even if you observantly watch the change from finger spin to wrist spin.

  • Nampally on April 25, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    I have 3 plays of the day which is a challenge for any Cricket Captain to Justify. Firstly, Bowler Mishra batting at #5 ahead of hard hitting all rounder -Sammy. Secondly Not opening the bowling & not bowling the 20th over via Dale Steyn. Thirdly, letting a young lad, Ashish Reddy bowl the 20th over in the match & his first in the match, to Dhoni with game on the line! These are all Captaincy blunders by White besides his own contribution of 2, as the leading batsman. White literally presented the match on a plate to CSK.

  • TheCupid on April 25, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    Can someone explain to me how the off break, which is ashwin's stock ball different from a googly ? Don't they both pitch outside off stump and moves towards it (for a right hand batsman) ?

  • crindex on April 25, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Ashwin is truely gifted. May Gd bless him and may he win many matches for team India and not waste his talent for clubs instead.

  • on April 25, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    @Deepak I think it was he who also didn't see Dhoni's tickle down to fine leg off the penultimate ball. Not terribly inspiring. Also IPL != International Cricket.

  • JamesSmithee on April 25, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    I don't think this is this is bad mistake. It doesn't affect teams total. I have seen lot of wrong decisions in the international cricket which affected the final result.

  • Jadejafan on April 25, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    I think the Googly is much more difficult to play and pick than the Doosra.

  • xylo on April 25, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    If only BCCI could get ump Hariharan back into the fold would we realize how the current crop is golden.

  • on April 25, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    i still cant gt over 6 leg byes.......dhawan shoulder's must be made of steel...lol

  • on April 25, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Too harsh on Indian umps is this article. AK Chaudhary is doing a fab job in this IPL and deserves to be on the Elite ICC Panel now that Simon Tauffel is not on it.

  • on April 25, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Too harsh on Indian umps is this article. AK Chaudhary is doing a fab job in this IPL and deserves to be on the Elite ICC Panel now that Simon Tauffel is not on it.

  • on April 25, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    i still cant gt over 6 leg byes.......dhawan shoulder's must be made of steel...lol

  • xylo on April 25, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    If only BCCI could get ump Hariharan back into the fold would we realize how the current crop is golden.

  • Jadejafan on April 25, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    I think the Googly is much more difficult to play and pick than the Doosra.

  • JamesSmithee on April 25, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    I don't think this is this is bad mistake. It doesn't affect teams total. I have seen lot of wrong decisions in the international cricket which affected the final result.

  • on April 25, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    @Deepak I think it was he who also didn't see Dhoni's tickle down to fine leg off the penultimate ball. Not terribly inspiring. Also IPL != International Cricket.

  • crindex on April 25, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Ashwin is truely gifted. May Gd bless him and may he win many matches for team India and not waste his talent for clubs instead.

  • TheCupid on April 25, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    Can someone explain to me how the off break, which is ashwin's stock ball different from a googly ? Don't they both pitch outside off stump and moves towards it (for a right hand batsman) ?

  • Nampally on April 25, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    I have 3 plays of the day which is a challenge for any Cricket Captain to Justify. Firstly, Bowler Mishra batting at #5 ahead of hard hitting all rounder -Sammy. Secondly Not opening the bowling & not bowling the 20th over via Dale Steyn. Thirdly, letting a young lad, Ashish Reddy bowl the 20th over in the match & his first in the match, to Dhoni with game on the line! These are all Captaincy blunders by White besides his own contribution of 2, as the leading batsman. White literally presented the match on a plate to CSK.

  • on April 25, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    The Cupid - Ashwin's stock ball off spinner is a finger spun delivery. The googly is a wrist spun delivery. When you are a batsman watching the bowler deliver this, there is a big difference. The point here is that - if he pulls that out of a hat just one delivery and goes back to normal after that - there is no chance that you are predicting a googly even if you observantly watch the change from finger spin to wrist spin.