I am adding more variations to my arsenal, reveals Ravichandran Ashwin

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Ashwin believes he now has the ability to dismiss any batsman

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who is known for his unorthodox bowling style, has revealed that he is working on perfecting more variations to bolster his arsenal.

Ashwin acknowledged that he had been working on these new variations after having been rested for India’s tour of Zimbabwe.

“I have the arm-ball, the carrom ball, and the under-cutter but I am developing a flipper that pitches just short of a length and skids on,” he told The Hindu. “I am also trying to get the carrom ball that spins into the right-hander. This will add a new dimension to my bowling.”

Since making his debut in 2011, the lanky spinner has represented India in 16 Test matches and taken 92 wickets at an impressive average of 28.53.

He has also taken 80 wickets in 58 ODIs at an average of 30.83.

Speaking about his bowling ideology when going up against a batsman like the West Indies’ Chris Gayle, Ashwin noted that he had to keep his line and length as tight as possible since Gayle will not hesitate to dispatch a loose delivery to the boundary in style.

“If you toss one up and draw him [Gayle] into a stroke and then pull it back a little, because of the revolutions on the ball, instead of clearing either long-on or long-off, he could be caught at mid-off or mid-on,” Ashwin said.

Meanwhile, for players like Australia Test captain Michael Clarke and veteran batsman Michael Hussey, both of whom are excellent players of spin bowling, Ashwin stated that everything came down to understanding and finding a weakness in the batsman’s technique.

“Clarke is a good player of spin, [he] can step out or hang back,” Ashwin said. “But then, he defends with hard hands. The trick is to make him play back to a ball that is not really short.

“I came round the wicket and got the left-handed Michael Hussey to drive in the Melbourne Test. Then I held one back, he went for the drive, and edged. I also bowled one that turned away from Shaun Marsh and then got him with an under-cutter.

“When I come wide of the crease to a right-hander, he is looking for something outside the off-stump. If I then send down one on off and middle, his head could falter and his drive could be uppish.”

Ashwin has also taken a page out of England off-spinner Graeme Swann’s book as he has developed the ability to bowl a wider arm delivery that allows him to get more “side-spin”.

“Someone with a high-arm action like me will get more over-spin than side-spin,” Ashwin added. “Graeme Swann bowls a lot wider with his arm than I do, so he achieves plenty of side-spin. I also bowl the wider arm delivery to impart side spin these days.”

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