New Zealand legspinner Ish Sodhi has tapped into the brains of Indian cricketers whom he considers as ‘very helpful’.

Sodhi is amazed by the skills of Indian spinners especially Ravichandran Ashwin who can bowl googly despite being an offspinner. “You start off with respect and want to tap into their brains. These are all very helpful guys more than willing to share their experiences,” Sodhi told PTI.

He has approached the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal asking them about their training regime. “Chahal is a great person to tap into,” Sodhi said. “He is completely a different bowler, big hearted. It is great to rub shoulders with these guys and listen to their experiences.”

He continued, “I was speaking to Jadeja the other day about how he goes on with his training. Talking to Ashwin about the carrom ball and the googly he bowls despite being an off-spinner. It’s crazy.”

His interactions aren’t limited with fellow spinners. The 28-year-old also wants to weaponise his armoury by speaking to big-hitters, understanding which length they find difficult to deal with among others.

“Like Rishabh (Pant), who is one of the most destructive hitters of spin. I would ask him what are the lengths that are hardest to hit. I have never seen someone with that kind of reach when he is attacking the spinners,” Sodhi said.

India captain Virat Kohli, regarded as the best all-format batsman of the current generation, is a different challenge against whom, Sodhi says, a bowler has to continuously come up with plans to keep him under pressure.

“Even though leg spinners get him out, he scores a lot of runs off them as well. Virat is a batsman you need to constantly attack or else he puts the pressure back on you. You need to come up with plans and be really courageous while bowling to him,” he said.

Having earlier represented Rajasthan Royals in the IPL as a player, Sodhi is all set to don a new role for the franchise – a spin consultant. “It’s a challenging role and the one that I am looking forward to. My main role will be that of spin consultant and devise plans for the spinners. Try and give them advice about some of the overseas players they haven’t played before,” Sodhi said.

Sodhi hopes to put into use the knowledge he gained through his interactions with former RR captain and mentor Shane Warne. “The biggest thing he told me was to stay calm and relaxed as I approached the crease so that I could create a nice base and spin the ball from there. In T20 cricket, you can lose that as you try to bowl fast. Most of the time, you don’t have a base to go up and over the ball a number of times. (Will be) trying to use those old tips that I got from him,” he said.

He also hopes to gain insights into the financial side of running a franchise. “I wanted to study finance. When the offer to become spin consultant came along, the senior staff of the franchise told me that they will guide in matters of finance and operations,” he said.

Sodhi hasn’t been picked for the upcoming two-match Test series against India with Ajaz Patel the lone spinner in New Zealand’s 13-man squad.

The first Test will be played in Wellington.

Explaining the role of spinners in Wellington, the venue of the first Test, Sodhi said, “Spinners would need to keep the stumps in play (bowl the stump line). In NZ, even for those who turn the ball away from right handers, LBW is the mode of dismissal. Keeping it nice and straight. You have to be smart with your fields for Indian batsmen. You need to have people at the boundary as these are guys who are very good at picking the length.”