I have more control now, says TN spinner Murugan Ashwin

Murugan has impressed in both the IPL for KXIP — economy rate of around 7.50 from 10 matches — and in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he scalped 14 for Tamil Nadu at 4.55.

Murugan Ashwin has been instrumental with the ball in the IPL.   -  IPL

The fizz off the pitch is back. So are control and consistency. Murugan Ashwin is humming these days.

“I have worked on my run-up and am powering through to the crease stronger and faster. I am also using more body in my action. Consequently, the ball is zipping off the pitch,” said Murugan to Sportstar on Thursday.

Previously, batsmen would be able to get on to the back-foot and work the ball coming slower off the pitch for runs. Now the ball is hurrying on to them.

Not for nothing has Murugan impressed in both the IPL for Kings XI Punjab — his economy rate of around 7.50 from 10 matches is creditable — and in the Vijay Hazare tournament, where he scalped 14 for Tamil Nadu at an economy rate of 4.55.

Someone who made his first class debut in 2012, the 29-year-old Murugan has suffered in the past owing to a lack of accuracy that would ease pressure.

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Murugan has worked on this shortcoming by finding the right action for him and repeating it countless times at the nets to bring in consistency.

Murugan said, “Having the sameness of action for my stock delivery, the leg-spinner, was very important. I have more control now.”

It was also crucial for Murugan to zero in on the right line. “When I bowl leg-spin, I generally target the middle-stump. When I want to send down a googly, my line is outside the off-stump. I have a tendency to turn my googlies sharply.”

Murugan doesn’t quite bowl the flipper but sends down the slider. “And I use my top-spinner when the batsmen tries to sweep me.”

While Murugan is excited about Tamil Nadu’s prospects in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament, he is eyeing a place in the Ranji team with the State side seeking a leg-spinner.

Murugan said, “First class cricket is more challenging and I am prepared for it now.” Indeed, there is more subtlety in Murugan’s bowling these days, in the manner he uses the crease, shifts his line to the right and left-handers.

India star R. Ashwin has been a source of support for Murugan. “I have learnt a lot from him.”