Former Indian batsman and now a cricket expert Sanjay Manjrekar believes too much experimentation is leading to Ravichandran Ashwin’s downfall in white-ball cricket. Ashwin has a plethora of variations under his belt and Manjrekar feels the veteran spinner is not backing his main delivery – off-spinner – in the limited-overs format.
Ashwin had a rough start to IPL 2021 season as he took a beating in the opening match against Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Saturday. The experienced spinner conceded 47 runs in his four-overs quota and leaked runs at an economy rate of 11.80, which was the highest for any DC bowler on the night. Ashwin picked a solitary wicket of Moeen Ali.
In fact, Ashwin had a dream series against England as he scalped 32 wickets in four Test matches at an average of 14.72. Ashwin is one of the best spinners in the five-day format but he hasn’t been able to come up with the goods in the white-ball format.
Ashwin has variations like carrom ball, the leg-spinner, the top-spinner, the arm ball but Manjrekar feels the off-spinner should back his stock delivery.
“For Amit Mishra, there isn’t much change in how he bowls in Test and T20 cricket. He sticks to his strength and his intent is to get the ball to turn. Ashwin doesn’t bowl the off-spinner! He hardly bowls the off-spinner in white-ball cricket. In Test matches, that’s his main delivery. In white-ball cricket, there’s a lot of other stuff, the pause and the round-arm delivery and stuff like that which I don’t really like too much.”
“I think Ashwin when he gets into this white-ball circle, he’s only thinking about not getting hit and he thinks the only way to escape punishment is to have all these kinds of variations and he goes away from his main strength which is him being this wonderful off-spinner. So in return, you don’t get much return off the pitch because he’s not bowling any turning deliveries,” said Sanjay Manjrekar while talking to ESPN Cricinfo.
Meanwhile, Ashwin had a decent previous season for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020 as he scalped 13 wickets in 15 matches and played a key role in taking his team to the final of the tournament.
After Ashwin delivered the goods against England in the Test series, many cricket boffins like Dilip Vengsarkar feel Ashwin should be back in India’s white-ball team. Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have been out of form in the last few series and the national team has spin woes.
DC will play their next match against Rajasthan Royals at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 15th April.