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R Ashwin’s leg-spin experiment gets backing of Daniel Vettori, Monty Panesar

Ravichandran Ashwin’s plan to bowl leg-spin in the 2018 Indian Premier League can turn out to be a positive for the Indian cricket team, according to Daniel Vettori and Monty Panesar.

cricket Updated: Feb 08, 2018 23:37 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, St Moritz
R Ashwin,Daniel Vettori,Monty Panesar
Ravichandran Ashwin has said that he plans to bowl leg-spin in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).(AFP)

Ravichandran Ashwin’s plan to bowl leg-spin in the 2018 Indian Premier League has received backing from two spinners, former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori and England’s Monty Panesar.

The India off-spinner, left out of the limited-overs teams since mid-2017, is trying to add leg-spin to his arsenal in a bid to push for selection. The team management has backed wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav as wickettaking options and both have consistently delivered.

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Despite being a match-winner in Tests, Ashwin has not been a part of the Indian ODI and T20I sides since the West Indies limited-overs tour in July last year.

Vettori has long retired and is now Royal Challengers Bangalore coach. Panesar, 35, last played for England in 2013.

Backing for Ashwin

Both were back on the cricket field — in the scenic Swiss village of St Moritz for the Ice Cricket tournament. Both Vettori and Panesar were confident Ashwin will succeed.

Vettori said on Thursday, “Everything Ashwin does, he does well. He is a highly skilled bowler that’s the thing I like about this style of cricketers. He has variations, he is prepared to try things and he has done so well. His record speaks for itself in all formats and he will continue doing that.”

Panesar also backed Ashwin to succeed. “See, I studied maths, Ashwin studied engineering. He has got a very analytical and mathematical sort of mindset.”

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He added, “Cricket is about angles, he is always going to look for those angles… and I am sure he is thinking probably leg-spin, carrom ball. Why, he has been so brilliant because he has got that sort of engineering mindset, which gives him competitive advantage over other spinners.

“He is probably just working out things, and it will be interesting to see how leg-spin turns out. It’s brilliant that he is trying so much different variations. That’s something I should have done earlier when I was playing. It’s good to see how spin is evolving from a spinner’s point of view,” Panesar said, adding that he too will try variations in the next County season.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 22:33 IST