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

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is the latest to voice out his opinions on the usage of saliva to shine the ball. The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has forced cricket into suspension for the time being with no fixed date of its resumption. While the sport will resume sooner or later, it wouldn’t be without enforcing the much-needed restrictions. One of the much-debated issues is that of managing the ball by the bowlers to have it glow to use it to their advantage.

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In one of the most recent developments in this aspect, the ICC Cricket Committee has recommended the ban of saliva usage this week. While cricketing experts believe that this step is crucial, they think that an alternative must be in place to give the bowlers some advantage. In the absence of saliva, batsmen would have an extra layer of benefit.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli shining the ball (Credits: ESPNCricinfo)

Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin opines that it would take some practise not to use saliva since it has become a regular habit for most of them. At the same time, the 33-year old understands that they have no choice but to follow and acclimatise to the new norm.

“I don’t know (when is) the next time I go out there. It is natural for me to put saliva. It’s going to take some practise (to not apply saliva). But I think, if we all have to co-exist, which is the DNA of human race, we will have to try and adapt to this.” the 71-Test veteran said in an Instagram live session with Delhi Capitals.

Ravichandran Ashwin talks about how he learnt to bowl the carom ball:

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (Credits: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin, who is one of the finest exponents of the carom ball, remarked that it’s all about trying it again and again. He went on to say that there used to be days when Ashwin would go on to bowl hundreds of deliveries and still not get it how it should have been. Hence, it’s all about practice.

“It’s more about trying these variations and the disappointments you get with it. Imagine try to play carrom with your middle finger and you’re trying to push a cricket ball of that weight that cannot be compressed and you are trying to push it with velocity and trying it to spin. It’s no mean achievement. Your finger, body need to understand it so on and so forth.

For me, when I was trying this carrom ball, I was expecting it to get it right every day. But every day despite bowling hundreds of deliveries, I will return home with disappointment of not being able to achieve what I had set out to achieve. That was a very very annoying state because you go through the practice and all with a dream in your head. But it does not pan out as quickly as you expected.” Ravichandran Ashwin added.

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