Veteran India player Dinesh Karthik said that experienced Ravichandran Ashwin doesn’t want to be ‘pigeonholed’ as just a run-of-the-mill off-spinner. Karthik said that Ashwin’s skills and versatility stay somewhere between a finger spinner and a mystery spinner as well.
Notably, Ravichandran Ashwin has recently returned to T20Is after more than four years. Playing against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi, he claimed two wickets for just 14 runs from his four overs and it was a match-winning spell.
The wicketkeeper-batter told Cricbuzz:
“I completely get what he’s saying. He doesn’t want to be pigeonholed along with the rest of the finger-spinning world. He says that because he has the carrom ball, he thinks like a leg-spinner so bowls more outgoing delivered a right-hander and for a left-hander, he’s bowling a lot more of his stock-ball which is off-spin. He wants the world to perceive him as a very versatile bowler and not a finger spinner. I think he’s somewhere between a finger spinner and a mystery spinner. We haven’t got a word for it but he’s somewhere there in the between.”
“Don’t pigeonhole me into the off-spinner/finger-spinner bracket” – Dinesh Karthik on Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin also opened up on how his game evolved after getting dropped from the limited-overs format in 2017. While Dinesh Karthik revealed that Ashwin believed he was left out because everyone saw him as an off-spinner but Karthik explained how different he is from others.
“I know for a fact that he feels that when he wasn’t picked for the Indian team it was because people were feeling he’s a finger spinner. He wants people to know that, ‘I can bowl the leg-spin, I use my seam position, I use the other variations I have’. What’s the wrist-spinner do? Why is it difficult to hit him compared to the finger spinner? For a finger spinner, you know the bowl is turning one way and you can lineup beforehand. What does Ashwin do? Yes he bowls off-spin but he has the ball that goes away which is the carrom ball or a knuckleball, however, you want to call it,” he said.
“So he’s saying ‘I can do that consistently ball after ball’ and under lights obviously some batters find it hard to pick him. And hence, ‘Don’t pigeonhole me into the off-spinner/finger-spinner bracket, I am slightly different to the others’, is what he’s trying to say,” Dinesh Karthik concluded.