Ravichandran Ashwin aims to bowl leg spin for Kings XI Punjab in IPL | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Ravichandran Ashwin aims to bowl leg spin for Kings XI Punjab in IPL

Ravichandran Ashwin, who has seen his chances in the limited-overs Indian cricket team become more limited since the emergence of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, has now set his sights on becoming a wrist spinner himself.

cricket Updated: Feb 06, 2018 14:02 IST
HT Correspondent
Ravichandran Ashwin has now set his sights on becoming a wrist spinner in a bid to make a comeback to the limited-overs Indian cricket team.
Ravichandran Ashwin has now set his sights on becoming a wrist spinner in a bid to make a comeback to the limited-overs Indian cricket team. (Getty Images)

Ravichandran Ashwin, who holds the record for being the quickest to 300 Test wickets, has been India’s first choice spinner in the longer version of the game for some time now.

However, in limited-overs cricket, leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and left arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav have emerged as India’s first choice spinners ever since the ICC Champions Trophy final in 2017.

To get his place back, R Ashwin has now set his sights on turning into a wrist spinner himself. He has been practicing leg spins for over the past few years and now for the first time put his newly developed skills on display during a domestic one-day game against Gujarat on Monday.

The strategy seemed to have worked for the Tamil Nadu spinner as he returned match figures of 2/38 from 9.1 overs in his team’s 76-run win. He is now planning to use the same in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) where a good show can earn him a comeback in Indian limited-overs side.

“This is part of my plan going into the IPL. 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,” Ashwin was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

“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,” he added.

The 31-year-old said that it has taken him years of practice to finally reach a place where he can land the ball where he wants to.

“First time I was bowling leg spin, we were working on some actions on how to gain momentum. How I can make a repeatable action work for me.

“For example, my arm doesn’t go 45 degrees which is perfect for a leg spinner. I am more upright. I have to adjust my action. It has been a painful ride.

“One day it will come out well in the nets, and the next day it won’t come out all right. It will be frustrating. I have gone through the entire journey and have reached a place where I can land the ball where I want to,” he said.

R Ashwin will represent Kings XI Punjab in the 2018 IPL, which is set to begin on April 4.