Ravichandran Ashwin, with a rich history of 94 Tests, 115 ODIs, and 65 T20Is, continues to embrace the role of a perpetual learner in cricket. The veteran off-spinner’s hunger for improvement remains insatiable, as he constantly seeks to expand his cricketing arsenal and refine his already formidable skills to outwit batsmen.
During the second ODI clash between India and Australia in Indore, Ashwin showcased his adaptability by bamboozling Marnus Labuschagne with a variation of the carrom ball that sent his stumps cartwheeling.
In a video shared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Ashwin delved into his mindset, shedding light on how he meticulously adjusted his lengths and altered his delivery speeds to keep the Australian batsmen on their toes in a high-scoring run chase following a rain interruption.
Ravichandran Ashwin articulated his strategy, stating, “I wanted to keep the length perfectly, in terms of trying to keep it away from the batter and also change pace.” He observed that the Australian batters were struggling to read the delivery out of his hand, attributing his success to the angle he was creating and the change in grip, where he utilized his third finger to bowl the carrom ball and off-break. He expressed hope that these adjustments would continue to serve him well.
He also acknowledged the guidance he received from Sairaj Bahutule, mentioning that they worked together at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to experiment with different angles and grips. Ashwin candidly admitted that he should have delved into these alterations earlier in his career, given the considerable amount of cricket he has played over the years. Nevertheless, he expressed his satisfaction with the progress made, emphasizing his commitment to the process.
Ravichandran Ashwin explained the rationale behind his efforts, stating, “It is something that I have been working on and wanting to do it, because when I go into this sort of a carrom ball, slider ball, the angles are pretty similar, the lines and the release points are very similar. So I wanted to bring both edges into play, which I was able to do. It has been in the offing for a while, and I’m glad I was able to execute.”
This dedication to self-improvement exemplifies Ashwin’s unwavering commitment to his craft and his desire to remain a vital asset for the Indian cricket team. His willingness to adapt and evolve continues to make him a formidable force in international cricket.