By Shashi Agarwal
Lately, Ashwin has not been to his best, nowhere near to where he started in Test cricket. His variations have all been picked by the opponents and the problem multiplies several times when India is on a tour to western world. Having no assistance from the pitch, he looks like a local bowler , who is going for plenty without leaving any sort of impression.Above all, his coach came into all this and accused Ashwin of not putting in the same effort and his unwillingness to learn from his mistake.All this has finally led him losing his spot to Jadeja as the first choice spinner in the Test team.
New Action, an analysis
Finally Ashwin comes with something new, a new action.It could not have started better after he got a wicket on his first ball , dismissing Mominul Haque. A first look into the action will give you an impression that it resembles a lot to WestIndian Sunil Narine.With his height , this high arm action will help him generate more bounce compared to his previous one which was more round arm.Also this action uses finger more than his wrist and should help him control the ball better, something which has traditionally been seen in finger spinners.Also, he bowled many leg spins, which will be handy bowling to right handers. He has been more comfortable bowling to left hander than to right handers.Also he is giving the ball more air and loop giving him more turn and purchase from the wicket.
The problem with Ashwin recently has been patience too. He bowls 3 or 4 good balls, but out of nowhere he tries his variation and goes for runs.One or two bad balls is all it takes to spoil a good over.His pause action is something very talked of. He had a fare amount of succes with it when he first started it, but soon he started to bowl too much of it and became predictable.He just could not resist the temptation of bowling it inspite of going for runs on it. His carrom ball was a good variation he had but he started to use it more frequently instead of using it as his surprise delivery. That was where he lacked maturity.In the present action, he has got no chance doing it and have to stick to the basics more often than not.
The other aspect of it
The other way of looking at it, a more a sort of conservative approach tells that he should concentrate more on his line and length rather than changing his action. The strength of an off-spinner lies in beating the batsman in flight when he goes for a drive, something called as an off-spinners delight.A classic example is Graeme Swann, who relied on is off-spinners and never went for the famous off spinners Doosra.It will be better if he uses this as his surprise weapon and not his regular deliveries. Mixing it with his offies is likely to give him more success.Also 5 wides in an innings completely reflects that he has still not developed a good control over it.