Spinners need to be more relaxed, feels Raju

Former India International Venkatapathy Raju, unmindful of the sweltering heat, is sweating it out at the Mangalagiri Stadium along with Andhra spinners for a purpose.

The veteran spinner felt adaptability was the key to the success of tweakers and cited the examples of two productive Indian spinners - Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.   -  Ch.Vijaya Bhaskar

Former India International Venkatapathy Raju, unmindful of the sweltering heat, is sweating it out at the Mangalagiri Stadium along with Andhra spinners for a purpose. To help them bowl in a relaxed mindset and adapt to various formats for the forthcoming season.

“The twenty-20 savvy modern-day bowlers are used to gripping the ball tight and their action is rigid with stiff shoulders. The compulsion to befuddle batsmen in just 24 balls has made them forget the free-flowing natural flair of spin bowling. This is a universal phenomenon,” said the veteran left-arm spinner, who is supervising Andhra Cricket Association’s spinners’ camp here on Sunday.

Raju said bowling on flat wickets made spinners overlook the quintessential rudiments of the art. “This week-long camp is meant to help them bowl in a relaxed manner and prepare them for longer spells. Another important lesson is to make them learn to bowl to their field”.

The veteran spinner felt adaptability was the key to the success of tweakers and cited the examples of two productive Indian spinners - Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. “In all formats, the common motto of a spinner should be to make the life of the batsman difficult with his mind and arm”.

Raju said spinners who achieved iconic status world over owed it to their persistence in doing the right thing, again and again, day after day. “A spinner should have a large heart and when clobbered, he shouldn’t chicken out. He should learn to come back harder and stronger”.

He said with the emergence of explosive batsmen such as Virender Sehwag, who clears even a ‘good ball, the job of spinners had become difficult. ”Bad balls will be punished, but in modern cricket even good balls soar over the stands”.

Raju advised the bowlers to shun negative thoughts. “A spinner will have a bad day, but that doesn’t mean he or she is a bad bowler.”

He advised spinners to play more multi-day matches as they offer bowlers a good number of spells.

As many as 26 spinners – seniors, U-19 and U-14 – from nine districts of ACA are training under the watchful eyes of the veteran and former Andhra off-spinner Vikram Verma.

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