India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has used his time off from the national team to improve his bowling skills. The Tamil Nadu bowler now says he has developed yet another variation - third after carrom ball and under-cutter - with which he seeks to outfox the opposition.
Ashwin was rested for India's recent tour to Zimbabwe and is now all set to fire on all cylinders. "I have the arm-ball, the carrom ball, and the under-cutter but I am developing a flipper that pitches just short of a length and skids on," he told The Hindu. "I am also trying to get the carrom ball that spins into the right-hander. This will add a new dimension to my bowling."
The 26-year-old has 172 international wickets and in his last appearance in India colours, took six wickets from five matches in the tri-nation ODI series in the West Indies that India won defeating Sri Lanka in the final.
Time off the pitch since has helped him study batsmen's tactics, especially ones who have an aggressive style like West Indies' Chris Gayle. "If you toss one up and draw him (Gayle) into a stroke and then pull it back a little, because of the revolutions on the ball, instead of clearing either long-on or long-off, he could be caught at mid-off or mid-on," Ashwin explains.
A crucial member of Chennai Super Kings, Ashwin now has his eyes set on Champions League, starting September 21, and will also hope to make an impact when India tour South Africa in November.