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)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

KKR vs Dolphins, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Live Cricket Score Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 1st semi-final: KKR make good start

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK), 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: KXIP likely XI

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Cape Cobras Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Hobart Hurricanes India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders

CLT20 2014: Robin Uthappa dismissed by Xavier Doherty

Sunil Narine still most dangerous even without faster ball, says Sammy

CLT20 2014: Robin Uthappa, Jacques Kallis help Kolkata Knight Riders recover

CLT20 2014: Gautam Gambhir dismissed by Doug Bollinger

CLT20 2014: Robin Uthappa stars run-chase well against Hobart Hurricanes

CSK vs KXIP CLT20 2014 2nd semi-final: Chennai bowling under pressure

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), CLT20 2014 2nd semi-final: Key battles

Australia’s ODI team faces a dilemma for the first time in 30 years

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Tabu hosts a special screening of Haider for friends – View pics!

Uddhav Thackeray: BJP broke ties as it knew Shiv Sena won’t let it divide Maharashtra

FDI in telecom jumps to $2.33 billion in April-July

Oilseed called ‘Gold of Pleasure’ may boost liver detoxification

India A take on West Indies in warm-up tie

Bigg Boss 8: Sonali Raut’s re-entry in the house upsets Salman Khan?

NGOs pursue education for all

iPhone 6 selling at starting price of about Rs 56,000 in India

Boko Haram leader dismisses claims of his death in new video

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here