Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan. Credit: Getty Images

Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the few cricketers, who have kept the fans entertained during the current period when there is not much cricketing action. He has invited some former and current cricketers to participate in his show on the Youtube channel and talked about various aspects.

On this occasion, he invited Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan and talked about their fondness of spin-bowling.

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During a chat with Muttiah Muralitharan, Ravichandran Ashwin disclosed the time when the Kandy-born bowler stopped him from bowling leg-spin and instead advised to opt for off-spin.

It was when the spin-duo played for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The iconic spin-bowling pair was one of the significant factors in CSK’s success and contributed to their title victory in 2010 through their economical bowling.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. Credit: BCCI

Muttiah Muralitharan revealed that he bowled leg-spin in his formative years since one of his teammates was an off-spinner due to which he could not find a spot in the side.

With yet another spinner in the ranks, he could not bag a place in the team hence for a variation; he resorted to wrist-spin. At the same time, the 132-Test veteran was not sure whether it would come good in Tests and considered wrist-spin as relatively easy to bowl.

I bowled leg spin for a few years in my school days, the reason was Ruwan Kalpage, also a Sri Lanka cricketer, who was also an off-spinner. There was another Test spinner in our age-group, a left-arm spinner. With two spinners playing in our team, I didn’t get a place. So for variation, I bowled leg-spin for a few days and they selected me for a season. I have confidence in bowling leg-spin but not sure it would have come out well in Test cricket. Bowling leg spin and spinning the ball, bowling googlies is easy but landing the ball correctly is difficult,” the highest wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs conceded.

You saying this made me remember, to play U-19 cricket: Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin, Nottinghamshire, County Championship
Ravichandran Ashwin. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

The conversation leads Ravichandran Ashwin to remember the time when Murali advised the Indian spinner that he will bowl off-spin very well.

You saying this made me remember, to play U-19 cricket, you’ll bowl leg spin to get into the team but when I wanted to bowl leg spin, remember what you told me? ‘Why are you bowling leg spin? Bowl off-spin, you do that very well.’ Why did you say that to me?,” Ashwin stated.

The 41-year old responded by saying that it is about proving oneself by taking wickets through finger spin since it’s a challenge. Muralitharan admitted that leg-spinners are natural wicket-takers; however, he wanted to excel in off-spin and prove them wrong.

Me bowling leg spin was to get into the U-19 side. Now you are going to try and play for India and the selectors say then only want leg spinners, the onus is on experience. Only when you take wickets, you will get the confidence. It’s about proving yourself. Not just proving yourself by bowling leg spin.

Instead, take more wickets by bowling off-spin that’s a challenge. Even I got dropped in my career. They’ve dropped me from one-dayers but I didn’t bowl leg spin. I challenged them with my off-spin and took wickets. So I thought you forgot that challenge, that’s why I said it,” Murali added.

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