Ashwin set to bowl leggies in IPL
Master spinner updating his armoury in an effort to play all three forms at the top level
7 February 2018, 11:52 AM AEST
Not satisfied with being the world’s highest-ranked Test off-spinner, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin has been working hard to become a genuine leg-spinner.
While Ashwin is one of the most dominant spinners in the five-day game, particularly on home soil, wrist-spinners have become all the rage in limited-overs cricket in recent times and Ashwin is determined to keep pace with his spin siblings.
The 31-year-old hasn’t played a one-day international since July last year as India continue to employ wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav as their preferred tweakers.
So, Ashwin has been developing his leg-spin and is set to display his new skills in this season’s Indian Premier League with new club Kings XI Punjab.
"I am just trying to build my armoury," Ashwin said after bowling leggies in a domestic 50-over match in Chennai on Monday.
"I used to bowl good leg-breaks with my off-spin action when I was playing league cricket in Chennai.
"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."
Ashwin has bowled leg-spin during the IPL before – against Australia and Pune captain Steve Smith in the practice nets – but he says the transition has been a "painful" and "frustrating" experience.
"As of now everything is cooked by me," Ashwin said. "I try to take feedback from our coaches in my academy.
"(Former India fast bowler) L Balaji has been of great help. 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."