In the world of cricket, where legends are born and records are shattered, Ravichandran Ashwin has carved a niche for himself as a versatile and cunning spinner. With an illustrious career spanning 94 Tests, 115 ODIs, and 65 T20Is, Ashwin’s journey through the cricketing landscape has been nothing short of remarkable. His ability to adapt, learn, and consistently refine his skills is a testament to his commitment to the sport and his insatiable hunger for success.
Ravichandran Ashwin Discloses How He Fooled Marnus Labuschagne:
A Pivotal Moment: Ashwin vs. Labuschagne
During the 2nd ODI clash between India and Australia in Indore, Ashwin showcased his cricketing genius with a delivery that left the Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne completely baffled. It was a variation of the carrom ball, a delivery that spun and darted unpredictably, ultimately dismantling Labuschagne’s stumps. It was a pivotal moment in the game and a glimpse into Ashwin’s mastery of spin.
The Art of Deception
In a video shared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Ashwin delved into the intricacies of his craft. He revealed that during this high-pressure game, he focused on two critical aspects: length control and variations in speed. These tactics were aimed at keeping the Australian batters on their toes, especially in a challenging run-chase scenario following a rain interruption.
Ashwin explained, “I wanted to keep the length perfectly, in terms of trying to keep it away from the batter and also change pace.” His astute observation was that the Australian batsmen were struggling to pick the delivery off his hand. This revelation prompted him to make subtle adjustments in both angle and grip. Notably, he employed his third finger to bowl the carrom ball and the off-break, creating a deceptive spin that confounded the opposition.
The Quest for Perfection
Ashwin’s dedication to his craft was further exemplified when he shared his insights into the preparation for this remarkable delivery. He acknowledged the guidance of Sairaj Bahutule, a former Indian cricketer and seasoned spin-bowling coach. Under Bahutule’s mentorship, Ashwin experimented with different angles and grips, exploring every nuance of spin bowling.
“I worked a little bit with Sairaj at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). Working on different angles and slightly different grips. I asked him to watch from the front and back, and we worked on it for three to four days,” Ashwin revealed. His humility shone through when he admitted that he should have embarked on this journey of refinement years ago. Nevertheless, his determination to evolve and improve led him to this moment of breakthrough.
The Execution and Its Impact
Ashwin’s relentless pursuit of excellence culminated in the delivery that dismantled Labuschagne’s stumps. The carrom ball, with its deceptive angles and release points, was the result of meticulous planning and practice. Ashwin explained, “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.”
In the ever-evolving world of cricket, Ravichandran Ashwin’s commitment to mastery stands as a shining example. His journey from a promising spinner to a seasoned maestro is a testament to his dedication, hard work, and the unrelenting pursuit of perfection. Ashwin’s ability to adapt, learn, and innovate on the field continues to inspire budding cricketers and fans alike. As he marches ahead in his cricketing career, one thing is certain: Ravichandran Ashwin will remain a perpetual learner, always ready to widen his arsenal and sharpen his skills to outfox batters.