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How Ravichandran Ashwin’s tactics can keep Australia batsmen guessing once again

Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t give away much about his bowling tactics to Australia’s skipper Steven Smith even when they were IPL team mates in 2016, says spinner Adam Zampa.

cricket Updated: Jan 09, 2017 18:32 IST
Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t give away much about his bowling tactics to Australia’s skipper Steven Smith even when they were IPL team mates in 2016, according to spinner Adam Zampa.
Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t give away much about his bowling tactics to Australia’s skipper Steven Smith even when they were IPL team mates in 2016, according to spinner Adam Zampa.(REUTERS)

Ravichandran Ashwin may have played the lead role in the 4-0 Test series rout in 2013, but Australia bowler Adam Zampa feels the match-winning spinner could still be an unknown quantity as they face India again in February-March.

Zampa, the 24-year-old leg-spinner hoping to get his Australia Test debut in the four-match series, says Ashwin didn’t reveal his bag of tricks to skipper Steven Smith, when the trio played together for Rising Pune Supergiants in IPL 2016.

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“I think the way Ashwin bowled in the nets, you ask someone like Smithy or guys that you can tell he’s going to come up against in international cricket. I think there was one net session to Smithy where he just bowled leggies for an hour,” Zampa was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“I don’t think he (Ashwin) wants to give too much away,” Zampa added.

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Ravichandran Ashwin was the leading wickettaker with 29 wickets at 20.10 in 2013 as he and spin twin Ravindra Jadeja (24 wickets @ 17.45) left the Aussie batsmen reeling. The pair shared 53 of the 80 wickets.

The off-spinner has been India’s main bowler in the last two years, taking a whopping 124 wickets as India have swept to victory in their last five Test series under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.

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Zampa, who has often been compared with legendary leg-spinner and current India coach Anil Kumble for bowling quicker through the air instead of relying on spin and guile, isn’t perturbed by the criticism.

“I know a lot of people say ‘he doesn’t spin the ball enough’ and all that junk. I don’t really see a difference if the ball goes under the bat, over the bat or next to the bat,” he said.

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“People have a lot of criticism on that side of my game but there’s other ways of taking wicket than being a big spinner of the ball.”

“A lot of people have been talking about my first-class statistics and all those things, but if I was given the opportunity, the way I bowled in Sri Lanka particularly, and I know it’s Twenty20 cricket but during the IPL, the respect I’ve gained from those countries and the players now I think I would suit that role,” he added.

(With inputs from IANS)