India’s Test specialist, Ravichandran Ashwin, recently opened up to the saliva ban imposed on the cricket ball by the International Cricket Council (ICC), when cricket resumes post-COVID-19 crisis.
The ban has caused a lot of furore amongst the cricketing fraternity. Much like the ‘Mankad’ dismissal, the cricketing fraternity stands disputed on the prohibition on applying saliva on the ball.
Bowlers use sweat as well as saliva to induce shine on the ball, generating movement in the air and off the pitch.
Ashwin registered his judgement on the ban during a recent interaction with fans, using Delhi Capitals’ (DC) handle.
“I don’t know (when is) the next time I go out there. It is natural for me to put saliva. It’s going to take some practice (not to apply saliva). But I think, if we all have to co-exist, which is the DNA of the human race, we will have to try and adapt to this,” said Ashwin.
Unlike his Test career, Ashwin’s white-ball cricket career has spiralled down in recent years. Once a regular feature in coloured clothing for India, Ashwin made way for the wrist-spinning duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Also, after being released by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) before the mega-auctions of 2018, Ashwin was appointed as the captain of the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) franchise.
Then, ahead of the auctions for the 2020 season, Ashwin was released by KXIP, and now has been bagged by DC, to join Test specialists Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari.
Talking about his ace weapon in his armoury, the carrom ball, Ashwin revealed that it took him four years approximately to develop the skill.
“It’s more about trying these variations and the disappointments you get with it. Imagine trying to play carrom with your middle finger, and you’re trying to push a cricket ball of that weight that cannot be compressed and you are trying to push it with velocity and trying it to spin. It’s no mean achievement. Your finger, body, need to understand it so on and so forth,” he added.
“For me, when I was trying this carrom ball, I was expecting it to get it right every day. But every day, despite bowling hundreds of deliveries, I will return home with the disappointment of not being able to achieve what I had set out to achieve,” concluded Ashwin.