R Ashwin will be seen playing for the King XI Punjab side in the upcoming IPL season of 2018. His former franchise Chennai Super Kings opted for Ravindra Jadeja over R Ashwin and then failed to buy him back in the 2018 IPL auctions.
Ashwin had missed the IPL 2017 due to a sports hernia and has not played limited overs cricket for India since July of 2017. Therefore, Ashwin has no option other than doing well in the IPL 2018 in order to further his chances for return to India’s ODI and T20I teams.
Spinners were never given a chance in the T20 format initially, but the finger spinners turned the tide in their favor in couple of years. However, after dominating the scene for a decade of so, wrist spinners have left the finger spinners behind in the race of relevancy and this means Ashwin had to reinvent himself in order to stay relevant.
This means that he has developed a leg spin delivery, which will be unveiled in the upcoming IPL 2018 season.
He says, "This is part of my plan going into the IPL. I am just trying to build my armoury. I used to bowl good legbreaks with my offspin action when I was playing league cricket in Chennai. Over a period of time, in a search to get my stock ball right, I obviously had to cut out a lot of those things. I had possessed a lot more variations. Having bowled offbreak as the stock ball for almost 10 years, trying to change things around is challenging. But I don't really settle for anything. At no point in my career, I thought 'this is it' and decided to settle for the rest of my career."
He continued, "As of now everything is cooked by me. I try to take feedback from our coaches in my academy. L Balaji has been of great help. First time I was bowling legspin, we were working on some actions on how to gain momentum. How I can make a repeatable action work for me. For example, my arm doesn't go 45 degrees which is perfect for a leg spinner. I am more upright. I have to adjust my action. It has been a painful ride. One day it will come out well in the nets, and the next day it won't come out all right. It will be frustrating. I have gone through the entire journey and have reached a place where I can land the ball where I want to."
Talking about not playing for Chennai Super Kings in the upcoming IPL season, Ashwin said "I was a tad disappointed because I have been here for the last ten years.Literally, I have owned that space around Chepauk. Every time I came on to bowl, the kind of roaring and cheering I got will always stick on to my head. Coming back there, to play against CSK, will probably motivate me more."