NEW DELHI: With limited-overs cricket becoming an increasingly unfamiliar environment for finger spinners, R Ashwin has amped up his efforts to remain relevant. Over the past few years, he has been working towards becoming a wrist spinner and was confident enough to try those variations in a domestic one-day match against Gujarat on Monday. He finished with figures of 2 for 38 in 9.1 overs as Tamil Nadu won the match by 76 runs.
Ashwin was one of the two top-ranked bowlers in Test cricket when he was given a break from India’s ODI squad. Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav were brought in to fill the void but now have become an intrinsic part of why India is so hard to beat in 50-overs cricket.
To keep pace with the competition, Ashwin has been practising leg spin himself. “This is part of my plan going into the IPL,” Ashwin told reporters on the sidelines of Tamil Nadu-Gujarat Vijay Hazare Trophy match. “I am just trying to build my armoury. I used to bowl good leg breaks with my off-spin action when I was playing league cricket in Chennai. Over a period of time, in a search to get my stock ball right, I obviously had to cut out a lot of those things. I had possessed a lot more variations. Having bowled off-break as the stock ball for almost 10 years, trying to change things around is challenging. But I don’t really settle for anything. At no point in my career, I thought ‘this is it’ and decided to settle for the rest of my career.”