- INTELLIGENT, THINKING AND FEARLESS BOWLER
After Anil Kumble had retired from international cricket and Harbhajan Singh was on the wane, India desperately needed a spinner who could step into the shoes of these 2 great men, if not fill them. And then they found a software engineer who has not only fulfilled the team’s spin criteria but also added to the value of the side with his valuable inputs.
The best part about Ashwin pertains to his prudent ability to make self-analysis. On the one hand where many cricketers disappear from the international circuit after arousing ample possibilities at the beginning of their individual careers due to lack of knowledge about their own game, Ashwin has managed to come out of the pit of a lean patch, largely because of his aptitude and potential to learn new things at a quick pace. It has happened many a times that Ashwin attended the press-conference in place of his skipper and answered all the questions thrown at him with supreme confidence. His is a good self-examiner, a virtue which becomes evident from statements such as, ‘’I was taught to bowl with a straight arm. So if somebody else gets a competitive advantage and I get to play in the team, it is a problem’’ or ‘’Whatever I gather as momentum of my run-up and my loading is all destined to put the ball into the batsman’s half. So, I translate each bit of the ball before I deliver it’’. He has taken the baton of spearheading the Indian spin department from an ageing Harbhajan Singh. Among his contemporary off-spinners, only Sunil Narine and Nathan Lyon come close to him. Lyon doesn’t feature in limited over fixtures for Australia, whereas Narine hasn’t proved his mettle at the Test level despite getting a few opportunities. This brings us to the certain conclusion that Ashwin holds a definite edge over all his rival off-spinners. No wonder why they call him the most competent heir to Kumble’s throne.