'Do it the way Ravi Ashwin can' - Aussie spinner hoping to replicate India great's ploy at WTC final
Ravichandran Ashwin maybe fighting for a spot in India's playing XI ahead of the marquee World Test Championship (WTC) final, but the great Indian off-spinner remains an inspiring figure for tweakers in the opposition camp.
While veteran Nathan Lyon has always held his Indian counterpart in the highest regards and tried to replicate his wide array of tricks with the ball, the batton seems to be passing on to Australia's young spinners, with promising offie Todd Murphy hoping to learn and execute one of Ashwin's famous ploy.
Murphy is trying to perfect the 'carrom ball' to an effective degree, if not the mastery that R Ashwin seems to have attained over the delivery, and use it to keep a wood on Indian batters during the WTC 2021-23 final at The Oval from June 7.
With Lyon retaining his tag as the numero uno Aussie tweaker, the opportunity to play is unlikely for Murphy on the elongated trip to the UK, also featuring the Ashes. But the 22-year-old, who impressed many on his debut series in India in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in February-March, is looking to upskill his range going down the "Ashwin way".
Murphy eyeing control of over famous Ashwin ploy
Speaking to AAP from England where Australians are trying to give final touch-ups to their prep for the WTC final and the Ashes, Todd Murphy said mastery over the 'carrom ball' is his aim right now and R Ashwin is the pedestal he wishes to reach with it.
Originating as an Ajantha Mendis ploy back in 2008, the 'carrom ball' has been used to pretty good effect by a wide variety of bowlers since, but not to the level of excellence that the Indian great seems to have attained at it. The experienced and inquisitive bowler has even developed different versions of the ball which traditionally goes away from the right-hander.
"I am still working on that but I am still a long way off being able to do it the way Ravi Ashwin can," Murphy told AAP. "It is simple in a way, and yet so difficult. It is just about being confident that you can execute it. I'd love to be able to add that myself one day. If you have a delivery that goes the other way it just poses different challenges for the batsmen."
"You are always looking at ways to tinker and add things to your kitbag but in Test cricket you have to make sure your fundamentals are really good and your stock ball is in as good a position as you can."
To fasten his growth to this means, Murphy said he has been watching a lot of Ashwin's clips. The bowler has been sitting with the video analysts and trying to add more wings to his repertoire after raising eyebrows with his astute use of the side-cutters that accentuated the impact of low bounce and uneven nature of the tracks used in BGT 2023.
"That is the best part of analysis now that you have access to that the whole time," he said. "I was really interested in watching that sort of stuff and get a close-up look of his hand and wrist position, just to see how each ball was coming out and if it was behaving differently."
"In those conditions his skillsets are as good as anyone and it was amazing to just watch the subtle variations he is able to implement in sequencing throughout his overs," added the youngster, who took 14 wickets at 25.21 apiece over four Tests during the India trip.