ravichandran ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (IANS Photo)

Ravichandran Ashwin is impressed with young left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav‘s performance but feels his real challenge will start once the batsmen become more accustomed to his variations.

“Kuldeep has leg break, googly and ability to deceive batsmen,” Ashwin was quoted as saying by PTI on Tuesday. “But challenge starts as batsmen will start reading him better. That’s when he will need to adapt but we have good support system in place.”

Kuldeep’s rise has coincided with Ashwin falling off the radar as far as India’s limited-overs plans are concerned. Together with fellow wristspinner Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep has formed a lethal bowling partnership.

But Ashwin doesn’t read too much into the trend of wrist spinners being more effective than finger spinners. “Like they say, world spins and everything will spin around. It’s only matter of time as more often than not Indian cricket is built mostly on perceptions,” the 32-year-old offspinner said.

Ashwin, who has 336 wickets from 64 Tests, he doesn’t think about others perceive his bowling. “If you are successful, people will say it’s right. If you are not successful, people will have an opinion. For the better part of my 150 wickets, experts kept on saying that I was trying variations….when I knew I wasn’t doing it. These are opinion created by people for which I have to give answer to. I don’t have time for that anymore as I want to enjoy my game,” he said.

At home, Ashwin has been a prolific wicket-taker averaging a superb 22.68 but it swells to 31.78 in overseas Tests. Recently, he bowled impressively on the England tour but his away record is the least of his concerns. “It’s for you guys to say as I don’t,” was his answer when asked whether he has finally found a way to succeed when playing away from home.

Ashwin says he has been battling benchmarks he has created for himself. “I am always battling benchmarks that I have created for myself. Unfortunately people don’t take that into account and I don’t expect them to do it. That’s never been an Indian way and I am not worried about it. I am still taking 5-6 wickets per Test and way more matured than what I was 25-27 months back,” he said.

Citing an example, he said, “During a Test match in Sydney (2014), experts said a spinner should go for wickets and when I went for wickets, they said I should be bowling tight and give break to fast bowlers. Now this is the wall I hit all the time. So the battle is within me as I can’t keep looking outside.

Ashwin revealed how he has changed the way he delivers the carrom ball. “I don’t bowl the carrom ball from the top. I bowl from underneath now so that it doesn’t give much trajectory to batsmen and it skids through. I have also developed a few variations with normal off breaks,” he said.