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How ashwin transformed into a fearsome spinner

The Chennai spinner is a renewed man. Once content on restricting the batsmen by bowling a defensive line, he has transformed into an attacking bowler.

Saji Chacko  New Delhi | 12th Sep 2015

Ravi Ashwin was India’s best bowler in the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka. pti

avichandran Ashwin is on the top of the world. Every time he comes in to bowl, he seems intent on spinning a web around batsmen. The Chennai tweaker has been the sole talking point in the recently held Test series in Sri Lanka, where he was the most successful Indian bowler with 21 wickets in three Tests.
Such was Ashwin’s domination over Kumar Sangakkara that the Chennai tweaker spoilt the farewell of the Sri Lankan great. He dismissed Sangakkara four times in the two Tests making sure the Lankan legend did not sign off with a big score under his belt. “I am morehappy that I could dominate him in his (Sangakkara’s) last innings. To be able to do this against one of the best batsmen in the world is something which I will treasure for a long time,” said Ashwin.
Ashwin, who has been branded a “paper tiger” in foreign conditions, has turned out to be equally potent and dangerous outside. For someone who was a flop in the away Test series against South Africa and England has managed to turn it around and become one of the best spinners in the world. One is tempted to ask the reasons for his resurgence.
First and foremost, Ashwin has changed his mind set. He used to bowl with a restrictive mindset and seemed content to stem the flow of runs. But all that has changed now  he is aiming to take wickets.
“For me the biggest change in him is that he believes he can take wickets. Not some time back, his main concern seemed to be restricting the opposition. But not anymore—every time he comes to bowl he seems to be in the hunt for a wicket. It is this attitude change that seems to have changed things for him in this World Cup,” felt Rajinder Amarnath, former Indian player.
Secondly, he has tried to carry out as many variations. Earlier, he was one who rarely flighted the ball, but rather he pushed it through. That is a thing of the past he flights the ball much more now. “I think strategy wise he is a much more evolved bowler now. He tries out all the variations and gives the ball more air as opposed to bowling flat. He looks more confident,” said an offspinner who has played for India.
Thirdly, the conditions in Sri Lanka have greatly helped Ashwin. Unlike the later years, the current crop of Lankan batsmen, barring a couple, have little knowledge of playing spin. I think Ashwin has made most of these two factors in establishing himself as one of the best in the business,” said a former selector.
Ashwin is much more of a thinking bowler now than before. He has relied more on the off breaks more and also uses the width of the crease more often now. He seems have a penchant for bowling over the wicket more instead of coming around it. “These changes have helped his cause a great deal,” said the selector.

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