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Interview

Anand Subramaniam in Ranchi

Pause. Play. Ashwin

An insight into the off-spinner’s vast bowling armoury

He has a bag full of tricks. It’s variations galore every time he has the ball in his hands. Every time you meet him, you cannot help but ask him about these variations and what else he has up his sleeve. Clt20.com caught up with the off-spinner after Chennai Super Kings’ eight-wicket victory over the Brisbane Heat, which made them the first team in the tournament to qualify for the semi-finals.

In this chat we meet Ashwin the bowler and Ashwin the thinker, who gives us an account of the different aspects of his bowling.

Excerpts from his interview:

First of all, the team must be happy to qualify for the semi-finals, isn’t it?


We were in the Champions league T20 the last two times but we could not make it to the semis and it is quite natural – you are playing champions from all over the world – to lose out. But it is always a good thing to qualify for the semis.

A good day on the field today – you picked up a wicket while giving away just 10 runs. You must be satisfied, especially after going for runs in the first two games

I thought I bowled well in the last two games as well. It is very situational and very condition oriented. You got to respect the conditions and the pitch is always getting the better of you. You have to play against the odds. I did a good job in the previous game as well, but you do not always end up with such bowling figures like today. When you have a chance, you got to capitalize on it.

Tell us about your leg-spin that you have been bowling of late

I have been working on the leg-spin. You can try a lot of things and it takes its own time to actually come out properly, until then it can be quite frustrating. At this point of time I am actually able to land the leg-spinner in the place where I want it to and I just hope it keeps coming along really well. When you start getting wickets off those deliveries, you start to get confident about it. I am working on the leg-spin and the googly, so hopefully it comes through really well.

You have the lethal carrom ball up your sleeve. Have you learnt to disguise it better with time?


As much as possessing something matters, I feel you have to use it sparsely as well, which is going to put a doubt in the batsman’s mind. I have been working really hard on my stock ball. I have not bowled many carrom balls in this particular tournament and it has been a conscious effort. It is probably the time where I do not use the carrom ball and use the other variations. It gets really difficult that you bowl your stock ball, you bowl your carrom ball and you need to bring your other variations into play. So I use it one at a time and see how much you can do with it.

There has been talks about the pause you take before finishing your run-up. When do you decide to pause? Do you pause according to the player or the situation?

I take the pause according to the abilities that I have to read the game. I think I have decent abilities to read the game. Whenever I think it is necessary and it will be helpful, I try and take a pause.

A word on Ranchi and the support that the team has got while playing here in the tournament


I have played in Ranchi before and it is a great atmosphere. Whenever cricket comes to different parts of the country, the atmosphere is more often than not electric. Wherever you play in coloured clothing and wherever you play under lights in India, you are going to get crowds. But these people are really looking forward to such games and they turn out in numbers and make a lot of noise, which is heartening to see.

The off-spinner, the carrom ball and now the leg-spinner – do we see Ashwin bowling medium pace anytime soon?


Why not! If there is a situation that requires me to bowl medium pace, I might.

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