Ravichandran Ashwin is no longer a part of Team India’s limited-overs plans but the seasoned off-spinner — a regular in Test cricket — still has the power to call the shots for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.
Looking at Ashwin’s different release points, angles, shapes, trajectories, occasional leg-breaks and strategies with spin, one may feel that there is nothing more to complete the package that he is; but the Kings XI skipper is eager to evolve.
He clearly states that a white-ball call-up isn’t under his control, but that doesn’t curb the learning process.
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“I am not bothered about it [selection]. It is important to get better as a cricketer everyday. I am getting better, and I am working on what I need to. I am not worried about anything else,” he told Sportstar on the sidelines of a bowling machine demonstration at the Centre For Sports Science here on Friday.
The 32-year-old authenticated the operations of Freebowler, cricket’s first non-electric and portable ball thrower.
The Kings XI spin department
The spin-heavy Kings XI side excites Ashwin further.
The franchise had retained Afghanistan off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman from last the season and this time, there are two more additions — Tamil Nadu leggies Murugan Ashwin and Varun Chakravarthy — who is IPL's latest millionaire, bought for Rs 8.40 crore.
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“I am very excited with the fact that there are a couple of good spinners in my team. I am quite excited to have them. I have seen M. Ashwin very closely, he also plays in my league side in TNCA. I know Varun did well in the TNPL.
“It [their selection] covers one facet of the department concerning spin. It is something I can watch closely and mentor. I am looking forward to learn a few things from Varun,” he said.
Varun and Murugan belong to the category of new-age spin bowlers, the kind where you bowl six different balls in an over.
The TNPL and Chennai League-certified Varun apparently has seven — off-break, leg-break, googly, carrom ball, flipper, top-spinner and a yorker-like slider.
Ashwin's hunger for success sets him apart. “IPL is a great opportunity. I really want to enjoy myself and excel in it,” he said.