R Ashwin has not really impressed in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season so far (Image courtesy: AFP)
R Ashwin has not really impressed in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season so far (Image courtesy: AFP)

Ravichandran Ashwin is amongst the best bowlers in the world, and has a bundle of knowledge about the game. He never hesitates sharing them with co-spinners. Ask Jayant Yadav. The Haryana all-rounder made it big last year in India s home Test season and developed immensely, thanks to Ashwin s presence.

Tamil Nadu might not have got off to an ideal start in Ranji Trophy 2017-18 with four points from two games, but their spin quartet are benefitting from Ashwin s presence in the camp. R Malolan and Washington Sundar are fellow off-spinners while Rahil Shah and R Sai Kishore are left-arm spinners. All four bowlers have gained immensely from Ashwin s presence.

Malolan has been warming the benches due to Ashwin s presence but definitely is improving despite not getting to play.

I know for a fact that when he is around, I m unlikely to play. But I m focussed on improving my bowling every day. There is a lot of difference in working with Ashwin in the nets and interacting with him in a match situation.

When you sit next to a guy who has taken close to 300 wickets in 50-odd Tests, there is so much to learn. Despite his achievements, Ashwin has no ego. He is open to suggestions. In both the matches, we were discussing about what speeds to bowl in which session, skills, about various fielding positions.

Both of us being off-spinners, I would ask him what goes through his mind in choosing a specific field. It’s been a great learning curve for me, Malolan was quoted in a report from Cricbuzz.

Left-arm spinner Rahil is developing the art of carom ball and how better than having Ashwin to guide you.

We have played together from junior level. I have a good rapport with him. I wanted to know about the carom ball, which Ashwin bowls so well. I asked a few things about various grips and the loading points. It s important to understand how you hold the ball and release it. I was seeking his inputs on how to get more turn out of the carom ball, said Rahil.

Ravichandran Ashwin: Rangana Herath is one of my role-models
Ravichandran Ashwin: Rangana Herath is one of my role-models

Meanwhile, Sai has been a super hit in the TNPL and was drafted in the state side for First-Class debut. The youngster has his role model guiding him and playing alongside.

I never expected it. There were four internationals (Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, Abhinav Mukund and M Vijay) in the squad when I was making my debut. I was amazed how Ashwin was able to analyse a batsman quickly. I also discussed with him about undercutting the ball.

On the field, Ashwin was guiding me on when to bowl attacking lines and what sort of a field to set. I couldn t have asked for more, said the 20-year-old.

One man or let us call him a boy, who is destined for a bright future is Washington. He has been scoring in bulk and bamboozling the batsmen with his off-spin. He filled in the shoes of Ashwin well in the IPL as well, for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). Washington bagged 11 wickets on his Duleep Trophy debut but had to wait a while for his turn to bowl in the Ranji games.

I know Ashwin was there and he is the No.1 Test bowler. So, it is definitely important for me to understand those things as well,” said Washington, who has managed to eclipse Ashwin with his performances with both bat and ball.