Off-spinners bowling over the wicket to right hand batsmen seems to be a dying art. Graeme Swann used it well in the subcontinent where the wickets offer a bit of turn, Saeed Ajmal with a pronounced doosra has made it lethal in the limited overs game and R Ashwin, who has been criticised as being defensive while using it in Test matches, would look quite a handful in favourable conditions when batsmen have tried to have a go at him.
Bowling round the wicket and pitching it on line means that if the ball is a regular off-break, it can cramp the batsman. If it goes the other way, it could induce an edge, if the batsman unsure of which way the ball will turn, chooses to sweep.
“As such I’ve not thought about anything like that. It’s a common phenomenon, isn’t it? You see off-spinners coming around the stumps straight away these days. It’s just what you feel right. If it’s worked, you want to stick to it,” Ashwin said. He was seen trying out a few leg-breaks at the nets.
Ashwin is known to always try out variations and in the past, experts have said that concentrating too much on a variety of deliveries he had lost bite with his off-spinners. Just like England’s James Tredwell had said ahead of the World T20 of trying out his hand at the doosra and giving it up, Ashwin had his take on utilising the 15 degree allowance for straightening the arm.
“I want to keep trying something – unless you try you don’t go and venture and find out what can work. I’d never bowled in full-sleeves before. So, I wanted to see how it would feel. And I just wanted to see if you can get more revolutions on the ball if you can do a little bit with your elbow, as much as that is. You can get a lot of advantage with these things – so why should I lag behind if someone else is getting a competitive edge?” he said.