Ravichandran Ashwin caused a massive uproar and consternation amongst cricket followers, especially in India, when he unveiled a new bowling action during the second match of the recently concluded Asia Cup 2014 in Bangladesh. Ashwin had match returns of 10-1-50-1 with the lone wicket coming of the first delivery he bowled with his new action. It was almost a carbon copy of the very recognizable bowling action of West Indian spinner Sunil Narine. Here is the link to a YouTube video comparing both the bowling actions.
During the pre-match presser ahead of the India-Australia match in the ongoing World T20 tournament, Ashwin was asked why he chose to bowl with that ‘new’ action, something that hasn’t been seen by cricket watchers from Ashwin, before or since that Asia Cup match.
Following is the transcript of that exchange:
Questioner: Ashwin, you had unveiled a new bowling action during the Asia Cup, something we had never seen you do before or since…
R Ashwin: You might see it again…
Questioner: Well, we haven’t seen it again since, which means I’m factually correct still.
However, something like that does not come overnight. So you must have thought about it. Was there a deeper thought behind why you did that? Perhaps, have a discussion begun about bowling actions?
R Ashwin: I go through a certain discussion phase with whatever I want to do. I want to do something different; if you don’t try something [beforehand], you don’t venture and try to find what can work and what can’t.
I’d never bowled in full sleeves before, so I wanted to see how it would feel to bowl in full sleeves. That’s point number one. And I just wanted to see if I can get more revs on the ball if I could do little bit with my elbow – as much as there is. That’s what it was all about. I don’t know, you can tend to get a lot of advantage doing all these things. So why should I lag behind in the advantage when somebody else is getting a competitive edge?
Here is the audio of the entire press conference.
Here is the video of that exchange.