Will take some practice to not put saliva on ball: Ashwin

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket Committee recommended a ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball in its meeting earlier this week.

Ravichandran Aswhin

Ravichandran Aswhin said it roughly took him four years to develop the carrom ball.   -  Vivek Bendre

India’s premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin feels putting saliva on the ball is a habit and it will take some practice to get rid of it when cricket resumes in the post COVID-19 world.

The ICC Cricket Committee recommended a ban on use of saliva in its meeting earlier this week.

“I don’t know (when is) the next time I go out there. It is natural for me to put saliva. It’s going to take some practice (to not apply saliva). We will have to try and adapt to this,” Ashwin said during an Instagram chat with Delhi Capitals.

Talking about his carrom ball, Ashwin said it roughly took him four years to develop it.

“It’s more about trying these variations and the disappointments you get with it. Imagine try to play carrom with your middle finger and you’re trying to push a cricket ball of that weight that cannot be compressed and you are trying to push it with velocity and trying it to spin.

“It’s no mean achievement. Your finger, body need to understand it,” said the man who has taken 365 wickets in 71 Tests.

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“For me, when I was trying this carrom ball, I was expecting it to get it right every day. But every day despite bowling hundreds of deliveries, I returned home with disappointment of not being able to achieve what I had set out to achieve.

“That was a very very annoying state because you go through the practice and all with a dream in your head. But it does not pan out as quickly as you expected.”

And then he tried reverse carrom. “I tried the reverse carrom, which I bowl at will now. I have been trying the googly. All these things tested my patience. But I feel when it tests your patience is when you need to be extra hard working, extra rudimentary and extra confident of your skills.”

The social distancing norms in the post COVID-19 world will be a throwback to the 70s and 80s when there were no exaggerated celebrations.

“If you watch those classic games of 1970 or 80s, wicket celebration was... people used to stand away from each other and keep clapping. You never really had high-fives and fistpumps. It developed much later in the game.”

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On a pragmatic note, Ashwin said that COVID-19 is nature’s way of showing that human race needs to respect planet Earth.

“I probably think, this is the way, the elephant in the room — COVID19, is probably teaching a lesson and trying to tell us, 'Hey you know what try and take a back step, you know you are stamping my feet all the time, you are spoiling nature, you are not listening to what is required,' because humanity thrives. Our race has thrived because of what planet is.

“It is unfair how much we have inflicted damage on it, so I think that is an extension what the game should be like. We should also understand that we need to appreciate all these things and maintain a certain sense of decorum and dignity, probably,” he said.

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