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)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014 (16:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 12, 2014  at Sharjah

New Zealand won by 4 wkts

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Steven Smith appointed Australia captain

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 2: India lose Rahane, Rohit early

Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal: How can cricket eliminate the howler?

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane: Maiden wickets, an elusive ton, and other highlights from Day 1

Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane guide India to 311/4 against Australia on Day 1 of 1st Test at Brisbane

Australia India Interviews Ishant Sharma Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin RP Singh South Africa

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 2: Rohit Sharma dismissed by Shane Watson

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 2: Brad Haddin takes five catches

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 2: Ajinkya Rahane out for 81

Alastair Cook should be dropped as ODI skipper, believe Darren Gough and Michael Vaughan

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Shane Warne slams Mitchell Starc for nonchalant approach

Murali Vijay continues to make impressive progress against Australia

Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal: How can cricket eliminate the howler?

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane: Maiden wickets, an elusive ton, and other highlights from Day 1

Chamundeswaranath caught Balasubramaniam bowled Ananthapadmanabhan

Sri Lanka vs England, 7th ODI at Colombo: Tillakaratne Dilshan’s all-round performance and other highlights

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here