Home > Features >

Unfair to compare Ravichandran Ashwin’s Hashim Amla dismissal with Shane Warne’s ball of the century

Hashim Amla simply had no answer to Ravichandran Ashwin's carrom ball © Getty Images
Hashim Amla simply had no answer to Ravichandran Ashwin’s carrom ball © Getty Images

Ravichandran Ashwin outsmarted Hashim Amla with a delivery that spun sharply from outside the leg-stump and cannoned into the stumps. Adam Gilchrist called it the ‘T20 ball of the century’, sparking unfair comparisons with Shane Warne’s delivery to Mike Gatting in 1993. Nishad Pai Vaidya delves into the issue.

Hashim Amla had settled in when Ravichandran Ashwin was handed the ball during the second semi-final of the ICC World T20 2014 between India and South Africa. The South African had just moved into his stride with a few boundaries off the pacers, which prompted Mahendra Singh Dhoni to call his off-spinner. Ashwin came from round the wicket and pitched the first one outside the leg-stump and it held its line for a wide. And then, he went through his motions again!  However, what unfolded was something brilliant as the ball pitched outside leg and, turned the other way to castle Amla and shatter his woodwork. Adam Gilchrist, the former Australian wicketkeeper batsman, tweeted that it was the T20 ball of the century.

With the words “ball of the century” coming into play, comparisons have been rife with Shane Warne’s legendary delivery to Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in 1993. Back then, Warne, a tyro leg-spinner, announced his arrival in Test cricket’s oldest rivalry, with an, initially, innocuous looking delivery pitching outside leg-stump. However, it spun a mile, bamboozling Gatting and crashing into his off-stump. Many people ask: Ashwin’s delivery to Amla was good, no doubt, but was it as brilliant as Warne’s?

Firstly, it isn’t a fair comparison here. The two deliveries came in different formats and against batsmen of different abilities, the surfaces of different natures. Warne was just a young gun there, trying to impress in the Ashes. It was a conventional piece of bowling, a proper leg-break that turned precociously and hence it captured the imagination of the public. In contrast, Ashwin’s delivery that stunned Amla wasn’t his conventional spinner as it turned the other way and plus came in T20 cricket. Warne’s delivery will always have an iconic status for two reasons. Firstly, it was conventional and secondly, it came in a Test match.

Keeping that aside, most people miss the most important point here. Gilchrist termed it “T20 ball of the century” and not the “ball of the century.” That in itself differentiates it from Warne’s magic. Secondly, let us talk about “century.” Warne’s delivery to Gatting, although only transpired about 21 years ago, was in the 20th century. Ashwin’s latest delivery came in the 21st and it could well be the ball of the century.

Nevertheless, Ashwin did a brilliant job to outfox Amla. Mind you, the South African is one of the toughest batsmen to fool in world cricket and the fact that he missed it by a long way shows how well Ashwin bowled. Keep the comparisons aside and kudos to Ashwin for this feat.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Tour Game at Adelaide: Pacers ensure advantage at Lunch

Live Cricket Score: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Live Scorecard: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood named in Australia’s squad for 1st Test against India

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Single-wicket cricket match between John Grange and James Sadler lasts three days

Bill Ashdown and Bert Wensley beat a team of 11 all by themselves

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey will get another chance to impress in final

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here